Botany

Lily Family



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The lily family is a family of monocotyledons (one of two major groups of flowering plants). They have one seed leaf. Most lilies have parallel veins but some of them have net venation (the veins in the leaf) and flowers that are arranged in groups of three.The true botanical name of the lily family is Liliaceae.

Some of the lilies have rhizomes which are horizontal plant stems while others have bulbs. the  lilies that grow in the shade usually have wide veiney type leaves and fleshy fruits with seeds that are spread by animals. They also have rhizomes and small flowers while the lilies that grow in the sunny areas have thin parallel veined leaves, capsular (simply meaning shaped like a capsule) fruits and seeds that are spread by the wind. They also have bulbs and large beautiful flowers.

There are a lot of ornamental plants in the Liliaceae that are grown primarily for their beauty. The flowers are considered some of the most beautiful in the world.

Some of the lily species are poisonous and can cause renal failure in pets if eaten.

The flowers of the Liliaceae have three petals and three sepals. They are usually identical in size and color. Most people think they actually have six leaves but from a botanist's viewpoint they would be wrong. The first layer of the flower are actually the sepals while the second layer consists of the petals.  This is important when trying to identify the true flower family.

The Lily family have six stamens and some have anthers. The tips of the pistil which is also called the stigma is three sectioned. Some people confuse the Iris family members with the Lily family. The Irises have only three stamens. There are over 3700 species of lilies in the world.

The Lily family consists of so many different varieties of plants that it is sometimes hard to identify them and some could actually be related to other plant families. There are a lot of lilies that are edible but it is extrememly important to do this only if you know which ones are safe as some of them are deadly.

Some onions and the asparagus family are actually members of a lily subfamily. The aloe vera plant is another subfamily. It is often used for treating sunburns.

Most people can not safely identify the poison lilies from the safe ones, so it is probably better to avoid eating them at all.

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