Liliidae: Liliales. The Liliaceae are mostly perennial herbs from starchy rhizomes, corms, or bulbs comprising about 280 genera and 4,000 species. The leaves are alternate or less often opposite or whorled. The flowers are often showy and are nearly always bisexual and actinomorphic. The perianth typically consists of two whorls of undifferentiated or weakly differentiated petaloid tepals with 3 distinct members in each whorl, or less frequently all of the segments are connate into a common perianth tube or perigynous or epigynous zone that sometimes has an adnate corona. The androecium usually consists of 6 fertile stamens attached to the receptacle or adnate to the perianth tube but rarely 3, 4, or up to 12 may be found. The gynoecium typically consists of a single compound pistil of 3 carpels, a single style commonly with 3 stigmas, and a superior or less often inferior ovary with 3 locules, each containing several to numerous axile ovules. Rarely there are 2 or 4 carpels and locules with axile placentation or only a single locule with intruded parietal placentation. The fruit is nearly always a capsule or berry.
Each "thumbnail" image below is linked to a larger photograph.
|Asparagus setaceus. These flowers have 6 tepals, 6 stamens, and a tricarpellate gynoecium with a superior ovary and 3 stigmas. The fruit is a berry.|
|Erythronium grandiflorum, avalanche lily. Note the 6 tepals, 6 stamens, and 3 stigmas.|
|Gloriosa superba, spider lily. Note petaloid tepals, 3 style branches, and 6 stamens. The gynoecium contributes a degree of zygomorphy to the flower.|
|Calochortus luteus, cat's ear. In this case the inner and outer tepals are exceptionally differentiated but otherwise the flower is very typical for the family. Black beetles can be seen in the bowl-shaped flower.|
|Chlorophytum comosum, spider plant. Herb from South Africa with tufts of foot-long, strap-like green leaves often variegated with yellow or white stripes.|
|Dianella sandwicensis, 'uki'uki. Hawaiian endemic.|
|Astelia sp., pa'iniu. Hawaiian endemic.|
|Eucharis sp. (Amaryllidoideae). Note the inferior ovary, umbellate inflorescence, and the crown formed by the androecium.|
|Hemerocallis flava, day lily (Amaryllidoideae). Note the typical lily perianth and 6 stamens.|
|Agapanthus africanus, lily of the nile (Amaryllidoideae). The flowers of this species have a superior ovary but are produced in umbels.|
|Crinum asiaticum (Amaryllidoideae). These flowers have a very long, narrow perianth tube or epigynous zone that arises from the summit of the inferior ovary.|
Flowering Plant Family Access Page