12. Lilium L. (lily)
Plants perennial, with stout bulbs covered with thick scales, sometimes also
with stolons, lacking the odor of onion or garlic. Aerial stems frequently with
roots above the bulbs, unbranched, erect. Leaves numerous, alternate and/or in
several whorls, linear to lanceolate or narrowly elliptic, tapered at both ends
or less commonly some of the leaf bases clasping the stems. Inflorescences at
the tips of the aerial stems, whorls of 2–5 flowers (–15 flowers elsewhere) or
racemes, often reduced to a single flower. Flowers erect or nodding, with
stalks 3–20 cm long, not replaced by bulblets. Perianth 50–100 mm long, free,
the sepals and petals orange to reddish orange, with purple or brownish purple
spots. Stamens 6, free, the long filaments usually arched away from the style.
Style 1, the stigma shallowly to deeply 3-lobed. Ovary superior, with 3
locules, each with numerous ovules. Fruits barrel-shaped to broadly ellipsoid,
slightly 3-angled capsules. About 100 species, North America, Europe, Asia,
south to the Philippines.
Numerous species of lilies are cultivated as ornamentals and a variety of
cultivars exist for some of the species treated below. Many species have also
been cultivated for their edible bulbs.