Lilium: Wikis


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Flora Lilium bulbiferum ssp. croceum
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
Phylum: Anthophyta
(unranked): Monocots
Order: Liliales
Family: Liliaceae
Subfamily: Lilioideae
Genus: Lilium

See text

The genus Lilium are herbaceous flowering plants growing from bulbs. Most species are native to the temperate northern hemisphere. They comprise a genus of about 110 species in the lily family (Liliaceae).

They are important as large showy flowering garden plants.[1] Additionally, they are important culturally and in literature in much of the world. Some species are sometimes grown or harvested for the edible bulbs.

The species in this genus are the true lilies. Many other plants exist with "lily" in the common English name, some of which are quite unrelated to the true lilies.



The range of lilies in the Old World extends across much of Europe, across most of Asia to Japan, south to the Nilgiri mountains in India, and to the Philippines. In the New World they extend from southern Canada through much of the United States.

They are commonly adapted to either woodland habitats, often montane, or sometimes to grassland habitats. A few can survive in marshland and epiphytes are known in southeast Asia (including L. arboricola). In general they prefer moderately acidic or lime-free soils.


Christmas Lillium (Lilium longiflorum). 1. Stigma, 2. Style, 3. Stamens, 4. Filament, 5. Petal

Lilies are leafy stemmed herbs. They form naked or tunic-less scaly underground bulbs from which they overwinter. In some North American species the base of the bulb develops into rhizomes, on which numerous small bulbs are found. Some species develop stolons. Most bulbs are deeply buried, but a few species form bulbs near the soil surface. Many species form stem-roots. With these, the bulb grows naturally at some depth in the soil, and each year the new stem puts out adventitious roots above the bulb as it emerges from the soil. These roots are in addition to the basal roots that develop at the base of the bulb.

Most species are deciduous, but a few species (Lilium candidum, Lilium catesbaei) bear a basal rosette of leaves during dormancy.

Seeds ripen in late summer. They exhibit varying and sometimes complex germination patterns, many adapted to cool temperate climates.

The large flowers have six tepals, are often fragrant, and come in a range of colours ranging through whites, yellows, oranges, pinks, reds and purples. Markings include spots, brush strokes and picotees. The plants are summer flowering.

Some species formerly included within this genus have now been placed in other genera. These include Cardiocrinum, Notholirion, Nomocharis and some Fritillaria.


Taxonomical division in sections follows the classical division of Comber[2], species acceptance follows World Checklist of Liliaceae[3], the taxonomy of section Pseudolirium is from the Flora of North America[4], the taxonomy of Section Liriotypus is given in consideration of Resetnik et al. 2007 [5], the taxonomy of Chinese species (various sections) follows the Flora of China [6] and the taxonomy of Section Archelirion follows Nishikawa et al.[7] as does the taxonomy of Section Archelirion[8].

Section Martagon

Lilium distichum.jpg Lilium distichum
Hanson's Lily Lilium hansonii Flowers 1842px.jpg Lilium hansonii
Lil martagon var cattaniae 01Infl Griechenland Rhodopen 16 07 01.jpg Lilium martagon Martagon or Turk's cap lily
Lilium medeoloides 220708.JPG Lilium medeoloides
Lilium tsingtauense.jpg Lilium tsingtauense
Lilium debile (Drawing).jpg Lilium debile

Section Pseudolirium

Lilium bolanderi.jpg Lilium bolanderi
Lilium columbianum.jpg Lilium columbianum Columbia Lily or Tiger Lily
Lilium humboldtii ssp ocellatum.jpg Lilium humboldtii Humboldt's lily
Lilium kelloggii.jpg Lilium kelloggii
Lilium rubescens edit.jpg Lilium rubescens
Lilium washingtonianum 3.jpg Lilium washingtonianum Washington Lily, Shasta Lily, or Mt. Hood Lily
Lilium kelleyanum.jpg Lilium kelleyanum
Lilium maritimum.jpg Lilium maritimum
Lilium occidentale.jpg Lilium occidentale
Lilium pardalinum.jpg Lilium pardalinum Panther or Leopard lily
Lilium parryi.jpg Lilium parryi
Lilium parvum 2.jpg Lilium parvum Sierra tiger lily or Alpine lily
CanadaLily.jpg Lilium canadense Canada Lily or Meadow Lily
LiliumPuberulum.png Lilium puberulum
Lilium grayi 2.jpg Lilium grayi
Lilium iridollae.jpg Lilium iridollae
Tiger-lily.JPG Lilium michiganense Michigan Lily
Lilium michauxii.jpg Lilium michauxii Carolina Lily
Lilium pyrophilum
LiliumSuperbum1.jpg Lilium superbum Swamp lily or American tiger lily
Lilium catesbaei1LEPPYONE.jpg Lilium catesbaei
Wild Lily Blooming along Dog Lake Trail at Kootenay National Park.jpg Lilium philadelphicum Wood lily, Philadelphia lily or prairie lily

Section Liriotypus

Lilium bulbiferum mg-k.jpg Lilium bulbiferum Orange Lily or Fire Lily
Lilium candidum 1.jpg Lilium candidum Madonna lily
Lil chalcedonicum 01EB Griechenland Hrisomiglia 17 07 01.jpg Lilium chalcedonicum
Lil kesselringianum 01Hab Tuerkei Ardahan Savsat 04 07 94.jpg Lilium kesselringianum
Lilium ledebourii 2.jpg Lilium ledebourii
Lilium szovitsianum (Flower).jpg Lilium szovitsianum
Lilium monadelphum .JPG Lilium monadelphum
Lilium pyrenaicum.jpg Lilium pyrenaicum
Lil rhodopeum 01Infl Griechenland Rhodopen Livaditis 12 06 00.jpg Lilium rhodopeum
Lii akkusianum 01aHab Tuerkei Akkus 07 07 93.jpg Lilium akkusianum
Ljiljan1pc.jpg Lilium bosniacum
Lilium carniolicum.jpg Lilium carniolicum
Lilium ciliatum (2).jpg Lilium ciliatum
Lilium pomponium.jpg Lilium pomponium Turban lily
Lil carniolicum subsp ponticum 01EB Tuerkei Ikizdere 02 07 93.jpg Lilium ponticum
LiliumJankaeBulgaria1.jpg Lilium jankae
Lil albanicum 1aEB Griechenland Katarapass 14 06 00.jpg Lilium albanicum
Lilium polyphyllum.jpg Lilium polyphyllum

Section Archelirion

LiliumAuratumVVirginaleBluete2Rework.jpg Lilium auratum Golden rayed lily of Japan, or Goldband lily
Lilium platyphyllum
Lilium brownii
Lilium japonicum
Lilium nobilissimum
Lilium rubellum
Lilium speciosum.jpg Lilium speciosum Japanese lily

Section Sinomartagon

Lilium davidii
Lilium duchartrei.jpg Lilium duchartrei
Lilium henryi Tiger Lily or Henry's lily
Tigerlilysmall.jpg Lilium lancifolium Tiger Lily
Lilium lankongense
Lilium leichtlinii
Lilium papilliferum
Lilium rosthornii
Lilium amabile
Lilium callosum
Lilium cernuum
Lilium concolor.jpg Lilium concolor Morning Star Lily
Lilium fargesii
Lilium pumilum (Flower) 1.JPG Lilium pumilum Coral Lily, Low Lily, or Siberian Lily
Lilium xanthellum
Lilium amoenum
Lilium bakerianum
Lilium henrici
Lilium lijiangense
Lil lophophorum 01aHab China Yunnan Big Snow Pass 19 06 01.jpg Lilium lophophorum
Siroi Lily.jpg Lilium mackliniae Siroi Lily
Lilium nanum
Lilium nepalense (flower).jpg Lilium nepalense
Lilium oxypetalum
Lilium paradoxum
Lilium primulinum
Lilium sempervivoideum
Lilium sherriffiae
Lilium souliei
Lilium stewartianum
Lilium taliense
Lilium wardii.jpg Lilium wardii
Lilium arboricola
Lilium anhuiense
Lilium brevistylum
Lil habaense 01aEB China Yunnan Gang Ho Ba 25 06 01.jpg Lilium habaense
Lilium huidongense
Lilium jinfushanense
Lilium matangense
Lilium pinifolium
Lilium pyi
Lilium saccatum
Lilium tianschanicum
Lilium poilanei
Lilium floridum
Lilium medogense

Section Leucolirion

Lilium leucanthum
Lilium puerense
Lil regale 01Infl China Sichuan Wolong 18 06 04.jpg Lilium regale
Lilium sargentiae
Lilium sulphureum
Lilium formosanum
Lilium longiflorum (Easter Lily).JPG Lilium longiflorum Easter Lily or November Lily
Lilium philippinense
Lilium wallichianum
Lilium wenshanense

Section Daurolirion

Lilium pensylvanicum
Lilium maculatum

Section not specified

Lilium eupetes


Dried Lily flower buds called 'Gum Jum' or Golden Needles in Chinese. They are often soaked, softened and used with mushrooms and other ingredients in Chinese cooking.

Many species are widely grown in the garden in temperate and sub-tropical regions. Sometimes they may also be grown as potted plants. A large number of ornamental hybrids have been developed. They can be used in herbaceous borders, woodland and shrub plantings, and as a patio plant.

Some lilies, especially Lilium longiflorum, as well as a few other hybrids, form important cut flower crops. These tend to be forced for particular markets; for instance, L. longiflorum for the Easter trade, when it may be called the Easter lily.

Lilium bulbs are starchy and edible as root vegetables, although bulbs of some species may be very bitter. The non-bitter bulbs of L. lancifolium, L. pumilum, and especially L. brownii (Chinese: 百合 ; pinyin: bǎihé gān) are grown at large scale in China as a luxury or health food, most often sold in dry form. They are eaten especially in the summer, for their ability to reduce internal heat. They may be reconstituted and stir-fried, grated and used to thicken soup, or processed to extract starch. Their texture and taste draw comparison with the potato, although the individual bulb scales are much smaller.

Lilies are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including the Dun-bar.



Many varieties of lily are extremely toxic to cats, causing acute renal failure even in small amounts. This is particularly true in the case of Easter lily plants, though other Lilium and the related Hemerocallis can also cause the same symptoms.[9][10][11]

Classification of garden forms

Asiatic hybrid flower
An Oriental hybrid showing open and unopened flower
An emasculated Lilium Stargazer

Numerous forms are grown for the garden, and most of these are hybrids. They vary according to their parent species, and are classified in the following broad groups;

  • Species (Division IX). All natural species and naturally occurring forms are included in this group.
  • Asiatic hybrids (Division I). These are plants with medium sized, upright or outward facing flowers, mostly unscented. They are derived from central and East Asian species.
  • Martagon hybrids (Division II). These are based on L. martagon and L. hansonii. The flowers are nodding, Turk's cap style (with the petals strongly recurved).
  • Candidum hybrids (Division III). This includes hybrids of L. candidum with several other mostly European species.
  • American hybrids (Division IV). These are mostly taller growing forms, originally derived from L. pardalinum. Many are clump-forming perennials with rhizomatous rootstocks.
  • Longiflorum hybrids (Division V). These are cultivated forms of this species and its subspecies. They are most important as plants for cut flowers, and are less often grown in the garden than other hybrids.
  • Trumpet lilies (Division VI), including Aurelian hybrids. This group includes hybrids of many Asiatic species, including L. regale and L. aurelianse. The flowers are trumpet shaped, facing outward or somewhat downward, and tend to be strongly fragrant, often especially night-fragrant.
  • Oriental hybrids (Division VII). These are based on hybrids of L. auratum and L. speciosum, together with crossbreeds from several mainland Asiatic species. They are fragrant, and the flowers tend to be outward facing. Plants tend to be tall, and the flowers may be quite large. An example is Lilium "Stargazer".
  • Other hybrids (Division VIII). Includes all other garden hybrids.

Propagation and growth

Liliums can be propagated in several ways;

  • by division of the bulbs,
  • by growing-on bulbils which are adventitious bulbs formed on the stem,
  • by scaling, for which whole scales are detached from the bulb and planted to form a new bulb,
  • by seed; there are many seed germination patterns, which can be complex.
  • by micropropagation techniques;[12] commercial quantities of lilies are often propagated in vitro and then planted out to grow into salable sized plants.


The botanic name Lilium is the Latin form and is a Linnaean name. The Latin name is derived from the Greek leirion, which is generally assumed to be the Madonna lily.[13] The word was borrowed from Coptic (dial. Fayyumic) hleri, from standard hreri, from Demotic hrry, from Egyptian hrṛt "flower".[citation needed]


See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ Harold Comber, 1949. "A new classification of the genus Lilium." Lily Yearbook, Royal Hortic. Soc., London. 15:86-105.
  3. ^ Govaerts, R. (2006). World Checklist of Liliaceae. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; accessed 15 September 2006; 20:36 GMT
  4. ^ Flora of North America, Vol. 26, Online
  5. ^ I. Resetnik, Z. Liber, Z. Satovic, P. Cigic, T. Nikolic: Molecular phylogeny and systematics of the Lilium carniolicum group (Liliaceae) based on nuclear ITS sequences, in: Plant Systematics and Evolution, 265: 45–58 (2007)
  6. ^ Flora of China, Vol. 24,
  7. ^ Nishikawa Tomotaro, Okazaki Keiichi, Arakawa Katsuro, Nagamine Tsukasa: Phylogenetic Analysis of Section Sinomartagon in Genus Lilium Using Sequences of the Internal Transcribed Spacer Region in Nuclear Ribosomal DNA, in: 育種学雑誌 Breeding science, Vol.51, No.1, pp. 39-46
  8. ^ Nishikawa Tomotaro, Okazaki Keiichi, Nagamine Tsukasa: Phylogenetic Relationships among Lilium auratum Lindley, L. auratum var. platyphyllum Baker and L. rubellum Baker Based on Three Spacer Regions in Chloroplast DNA, in: 育種学雑誌 Breeding science, Vol.52, No.3, pp. 207-213
  9. ^ "Acute renal failure caused by lily ingestion in si...[J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2002] - PubMed Result". Retrieved 2008-06-22. 
  10. ^ Hall J: Nephrotoxicity of Easter Lily (Lilium longiflorum) when ingested by the cat, Proc Annu Meet Am Vet Int Med 6:121, 1992.
  11. ^ Volmer P: Easter lily toxicosis in cats, Vet Med 331, April 1999.
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Classification". Retrieved 2008-06-22. 

External links


Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies


Classification System: APG II (down to family level)

Main Page
Cladus: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiospermae
Cladus: Monocots
Ordo: Liliales
Familia: Liliaceae
Subfamilia: Lilioideae
Genus: Lilium
Species: L. akkusianum - L. albanicum - L. amabile - L. amoenum - L. anhuiense - L. arboricola - L. auratum - L. ×aurelianense - L. bakerianum - L. bolanderi - L. bosniacum - L. brevistylum - L. brownii - L. bulbiferum - L. buschianum - L. callosum - L. canadense - L. candidum - L. carniolicum - L. catesbaei - L. ×centigale - L. ×centisargale - L. cernuum - L. chalcedonicum - L. ciliatum - L. columbianum - L. concolor - L. ×crovidii - L. ×dalhansonii - L. davidii - L. distichum - L. duchartrei - L. euxanthum - L. fargesii - L. ×formolense - L. ×formolongi - L. formosanum - L. georgei - L. grayi - L. habaense - L. hansonii - L. henrici - L. henryi - L. ×hollandicum - L. huidongense - L. humboldtii - L. ×imperiale - L. ×intermedium - L. iridollae - L. jankae - L. japonicum - L. jinfushanense - L. kelleyanum - L. kelloggii - L. kesselringianum - L. lancifolium - L. lankongense - L. ledebourii - L. leichtlinii - L. leucanthum - L. lijiangense - L. longiflorum - L. lophophorum - L. mackliniae - L. ×maculatum - L. majoense - L. ×manglesii - L. maritimum - L. ×marmed - L. martagon - L. matangense - L. medeoloides - L. michauxii - L. michiganense - L. monadelphum - L. nanum - L. nepalense - L. ningnanense - L. nobilissimum - L. occidentale - L. ochraceum - L. omeiense - L. orientale - L. papilliferum - L. paradoxum - L. pardalinum - L. parryi - L. parvum - L. pensylvanicum - L. philadelphicum - L. philippinense - L. pinifolium - L. poilanei - L. polyphyllum - L. pomponium - L. ponticum - L. potaninii - L. primulinum - L. ×pseudograyi - L. puberulum - L. puerense - L. pumilum - L. pyi - L. pyrenaicum - L. pyrophilum - L. regale - L. rhodopeum - L. rosthornii - L. rubellum - L. rubescens - L. saccatum - L. sargentiae - L. sempervivoideum - L. sheriffiae - L. souliei - L. speciosum - L. stewartianum - L. sulphureum - L. superbum - L. taliense - L. ×testaceum - L. tianschanicum - L. tsingtauense - L. wallichianum - L. wardii - L. washingtonianum - L. wenshanense - L. xanthellum - L. zairii

Vernacular names

Català: lliri
Česky: Lilie
English: Lilies
Français: Lys ou Lis
Italiano: Giglio
Svenska: Liljesläktet
Türkçe: Zambak
中文: 百合
Wikimedia Commons For more multimedia, look at Lilium on Wikimedia Commons.



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