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a genus of plants of the family Liliaceae. They are low-growing perennial herbs with bulbs. The perianth consists of six yellow or whitish, more rarely reddish, leaflets. Many species are spring ephemerals. There are about 100 species in the temperate zone of Eurasia. In the USSR there are about 90 species, chiefly in the Caucasus and in Middle Asia. Gagea grows in steppes and forests, on dry mountain slopes, and in semideserts. The most common Gagea of the forest zone is G. lutea. Many species of Gagea are eaten by cattle in pastures, but they have no essential food value.