Lily — The genus Lilium are herbaceous flowering plants normally growing from bulbs, comprising a genus of about 110 species in the lily family, Liliaceae. They are important as large showy flowering garden plants, and in literature. Some of the bulbs have been consumed by people. The species in this genus are the true lilies, while other plants with lily in the common name are related to other groups of plants.
Lilies are usually erect leafy stemmed herbs. The majority of species form naked or tunic-less scaly underground bulbs from which they overwinter. In some North American species the base of the bulb develops into rhizomes, on which numerous small bulbs are found. Some species develop stolons. A few species form bulbs at or near the soil surface .
Many species form stem-roots. With these, the bulb grows naturally at some depth in the soil, and each year the new stem puts out adventitious roots above the bulb as it emerges from the soil. These roots are in addition to the basal roots that develop at the base of the bulb.
Many species are widely grown in the garden in temperate and sub-tropical regions. Sometimes they may also be grown as potted plants. A large number of ornamental hybrids have been developed. They can be used in herbaceous borders, woodland and shrub plantings, and as a patio plant.
Some lilies, especially Lilium longiflorum, as well as a few other hybrids, form important cut flower crops. These tend to be forced for particular markets; for instance, L. longiflorum for the Easter trade, when it may be called the Easter lily.