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A family of the order Liliales distinguished by six stamens, typically narrow, parallel-veined leaves, and a superior ovary.



a family of monocotyledonous plants. They are perennial grasses with rhizomes, bulbs, or corms. Less frequently they have woody stems and are arborescent; a few are lianas. The leaves are entire and often narrow. The flowers are usually bisexual, regular or slightly irregular in form, and pentacyclic; they are generally trimerous and often gathered in racemes, panicles, and other inflorescences. The perianths are generally brightly colored. The pistils are syncarpous. The ovary is usually superior; however, sometimes it is half-inferior or inferior. The fruit is a capsule or, sometimes, a berry.

Approximately 250 genera of Liliaceae, comprising 4,000 species, are distributed throughout the world. In the USSR there are 45 genera (approximately 650 species). Many species grow in the steppes, in semiarid regions, and on mountains. A number of subfamilies (particularly Asparagoideae, Allioideae, Smilacoideae, and, less frequently, Agavoideae) are separated into different families. The Liliaceae include many useful plants. The onion, garlic, and asparagus are important vegetables. Several plants, such as New Zealand flax and desert candle, are used in industry. Lily of the valley, aloe, sea onion, false hellebore, and autumn crocus are drug-yielding plants. The Liliaceae include numerous ornamentals, such as lily, tulip, hyacinth, fritillary, autumn crocus, yucca, dracena, and aloe. Wild representatives include false lily of the valley, lily of the valley, onion, Solomon’s seal, Gagea, squill, grape hyacinth, and star-of-Bethlehem.


Takhtadzhian, A. L. Sistema i filogeniia tsvetkovykh rastenii. Moscow-Leningrad, 1966.


References in periodicals archive ?
Astelia (Asteliaceae, formerly a subfamily of Liliaceae) has been regarded as having vessels only in roots (Cheadle & Kosakai, 1971).
In May 1998, they saw for the first time in years the flower of Astelia waialealae, a species known only from three bogs within the Alaka`i Swamp and numbering only 35 individual plants.
For a dramatic planting in a dark corner, their white stems complement the huge, sharp, silver arching leaves of Astelia nervosa.
Try the pale and interesting Iris "Katharine Hodgkin" with the sharp silver swords of Astelia chathamica forming an effective background and the heart-shaped leaves of Brunnera macrophylla "Jack Frost" close by.
Other drought-tolerant architectural stars include Astelia 'Silver Spear', its strap-like leaves reaching around 1.
Foliage plants such as New Zealand flax are immensely useful and astelia make great alternatives.