An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions/Liliaceae

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An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States,
Canada and the British Possessions

second edition
by Nathaniel Lord Britton & Addison Brown

Subkingdom Spermatophyta
Class 2. Angiospermae
Sub-class 1. Monocotyledones
Family 22. Liliaceae (Lily Family)

Family 22.   Liliaceae   Adans.   Fam. Pl. 42.   1763.
Lily Family.

Scapose or leafy-stemmed herbs from bulbs or corms, or rarely with rootstocks or a woody caudex (Yucca), the leaves various. Flowers solitary or clustered, regular, mostly perfect.  Perianth parted into 6 distinct or nearly distinct segments, or these more or less united into a tube, inferior, or partly superior (Aletris).  Stamens 6, hypogynous or borne on the perianth or at the bases of its segments ;  anthers 2-celled, mostly introrse, sometimes extrorse.  Ovary 3-celled ;  ovules few or numerous in each cavity, anatropous or amphitropous ;  styles united ;  stigma 3-lobed or   Fruit a loculicidal capsule (septicidal in Calochortus), or in Yucca sometimes fleshy and indehiscent.  Embryo in copious endosperm.

About 125 genera and 1300 species, widely distributed.


Plants bulbous, or with rootstocks, or fibrous-fleshy roots.
Ovary superior, not adnate to the perianth.
Roots fibrous-fleshy ;  scape tall ;  flowers orange or yellow. 1. Hemerocallis.
Low fleshy herb with a short rootstock ;  flowers white. 2. Leucocrinum.
Plants with bulbs or corms.
Flowers umbelled.
Perianth 6-parted.
Odor characteristically onion-like ;  ovules 1 or 2 in each cavity. 3. Allium.
Odor not onion-like ;  ovules several in each cavity. 4. Nothoscordum.
Perianth funnelform, the tube about as long as the lobes. 5. Androstephium.
Flowers solitary, racemed, corymbed or panicled.
Anthers not introrse.
Perianth-segments all alike or nearly so ;  capsule loculicidal.
Anthers versatile ;  tall herbs. 6. Lilium.
Anthers not versatile ;  low herbs.
Stem leafy.
Flowers nodding ;  perianth-segments with a nectary at the base. 7. Fritillaria.
Flowers erect ;  perianth-segments without a nectary. 8. Tulipa.
Leaves only 2, appearing basal ;  flowers bractless. 9. Erythroniitm.
Outer segments narrower than the inner ;  capsule septicidal. 10. Calochortus.
Anthers introrse.
Perianth of 6 separate segments.
Filaments filiform. 11. Quamasia.
Filaments flattened. 12. Ornithogalutn.
Perianth globose, oblong or urn-shaped. 13. Muscari.
Ovary half inferior ;  roots fibrous ;  flowers racemed. 14. Aletris.
Stem a woody caudex ;  leaves rigid, mostly bearing marginal fibers. 15. Yucca.