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(desert candle), a genus of herbs of the family Liliaceae. (The genus is sometimes divided into several genera.) The rhizome is compact; the roots are dense, frequently fleshy, and spindle-shaped. The leaves are radical, long, and linear. The flower stalk is much longer than the leaves. The inflorescence is a many-flowered terminal raceme. The perianth may be white, yellow, pink, reddish, or brown. The fruit is a spherical capsule.
Of the more than 50 species, at least 30 occur in the USSR. They are found from the Crimea and the Caucasus to the Altai and Himalayas. The plants occur in steppes and deserts at elevations to 3,500 m. Many species are ornamental, particularly E. olgae and E. robustus. The roots of some species, for example, E. spectabilis, contain dextrine and other substances used to make glue. Paint is produced from the leaves. Young shoots are edible when cooked. The plants are nectar-bearers.