Flora of Hawaii & Plant Family Profiles
Home | About | Texts | Calendar | Families | Resources | Syllabus

> Family Checklist
> Liliaceae
Plantae / Angiospermae (Flowering plants) / Angiosperms (Seed Plants) / Liliales / Monocot

Liliaceae A.L. de Jussieu
Lily Family


The Liliaceae are mostly perennial herbs from bulbs, comprising about 13 genera and 400 species. The leaves are alternate or whorled, simple, parallel-veined; stipules absent. The flowers are bisexual, actinomorphic or weakly zygomorphic, often showy. The perianth typically consists of two whorls of undifferentiated or weakly differentiated petaloid tepals with 3 distinct members in each whorl. The androecium usually consists of 6 fertile stamens with distinct filaments. The gynoecium typically consists of a single compound pistil of 3 carpels, a single style commonly with 3 stigmas, and a superior ovary with 3 locules, each containing numerous axile ovules. The fruit is a loculicidal capsule or sometimes a berry.  Seeds usually flat and disk-shaped; seed coat not black.

Worldwide: 13 genera and 400 species
Hawaiian Flora: 1 genera and 2 species
Widely distributed in temperate regions of the Northern hemisphere; mainly spring-blooming plants of prairies, moutain meadows and other open communities.
Major Genera:
Fritillaria (100), Gagea (90), Tulipa (80), and Lilium (80)
Economic Use(s):
Important ornamentals.
UH Manoa Campus Accession(s)

Lyon Arboretum Accession(s)

Key Characters  
Flower: Complete, Perfect .
Floral Symmetry:
Radial to slightly Bilateral.
+, Weakly Differentiated.
Tepals (T):
Calyx (K):
3, Petaloid..
Corolla (C):
3, Petaloid, Hypogynous.
Androecium (A):
6, Distinct, Hypogynous.
Gynoecium (G):
Syncarpous, Pistil=1, Carpels/pistil=3, Locules/pistil=3 (1-4), Ovules/locule=?.
Capsule or Berry.
Alternate or Whorled.
Simple, often with Sheathing Base.
Other distinctive features:
Plants Herbaceous; Flowers generally showy; Stigmas often one and 3-lobed or three and distinct.
Floral Formula:

Profile Diagram of Flower Transverse Diagram of Flower
Web References: Angiosperm Phylogeny Website, Wikipedia

Local genera/species: ( 1 / 1 )

Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (2003). An update of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants: APG II. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 141: 399-436 (Available online: Abstract | Full text (HTML) | Full text (PDF))

The Angiosperm Phylogeny Group. (1998) An Ordinal Classification for the Families of Flowering Plants. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden. [1]

Carr, Gerald. Vascular Plant Family Page.

Judd, W. S., C. S. Campbell, E. A. Kellogg, P. F. Stevens, & M. J. Donoghue. 2007. Plant Systematics: A Phylogenetic Approach, 3rd ed.

Home > Family Checklist > Liliaceae

Citation: Core Systematics Curriculum Module. University of Hawai'i at Manoa, Department of Botany. Honolulu, HI.
Downloaded on