The lily, or liliaceae, family has over 3500 species and includes the characteristics of leaves with parallel veins running through them and flower parts in groups of threes. Three petals and three sepals make up the six-pointed blooms, as well as three stigmas and six stamen. Even the leaves grow in sets of three. The lily family includes flowers, edible and medicinal plants, along with poisonous plants, making it one of the largest families in the plant kingdom.
There are many flowers in the lily family, of which the different varieties of lilies are only one kind. Tulips, hyacinths and amaryllis also are members of this family. Most flowers in the lily family are edible, but a few are poisonous, such as lily of the valley and members of the bunchflower subfamily. The bunchflower subfamily consists of the death camas, the mountain death camas and bear grass, as well as other wildflowers.
Vegetables and Herbs
The many herbs and vegetables in the lily family include garlic, onions, leeks and chives. Asparagus is one of the few edible plants in the family that bear seeds and not fruit. However, all plants in this family grow tubers, bulbs or rhizomes as well.
All plants in the aloe genus are included in the lily family, with the most popular being the aloe vera, which is used to treat burns and skin irritations. Aloe vera also is used in cosmetics, skin lotions and shampoos. Other types of aloe plants are used in medicinal herbal teas. A resin can be extracted from the dracenea, which has medicinal uses as well, and also is used to make varnishes. Meadow saffron was once used to treat gout and now is being researched according to sciencejrank.com
- Photo Credit yellow lilies image by alri from Fotolia.com
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