A large family of monocotyledons, most of which are herbs (lilies, onions, etc.) with elongated leaves springing from rhizomes, corms, or bulbs, but some are shrubs or trees. The leaves may be all from the base, or alternate up the stem, or whorled. The inflorescence is a raceme or umbel, the flowers mostly regular and trimerous, with 2 usually similar whorls of petaloid perianth segments. There are usually 6 stamens, the ovary is superior and normally 3-celled. The fruits are capsules or berries. Many (e.g. Lilium and Tulipa) are cultivated for their flowers, others as vegetables or for flavouring (e.g. Allium, onions and garlic). There are 294 genera, comprising about 4500 species, with a cosmopolitan distribution.
Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry.