TulipFAMILY OF THE WEEK:LILIACEAE
large family widely distributed in most parts of the world. In India
there are 35 genera and 189 species majority of them occurring chiefly
in the Himalayas.Vegetative characters:
mostly perennial herbs persisting by means of a sympodial rhizome or by
a bulb. Sometimes as in Asparagus they are annual herbs.Yucca
are shrubby or treelike with a perennial aerial stem growing in thickness by successive rings of meristem. The species of Smilax
are woody climbers with often prickly stem. They climb with the help of stipular tendrils which arise from the leaf sheath.
The species of Asparagus
rhizomatous plants with herbaceous or woody erect straggling or
climbing stems. The leaves are reduced to tiny scales and the ultimate
branches become needle like or flattened. These cladodes take up the
function of the leaves. Gloriosa
is a perennial tuberous herb with a climbing stem. The climbing is affected by the leaf tip which elongates to form a spiral.
) or cauline. They are usually alternate, rarely opposite(Gloriosa
or whorled. They vary in shape from linear to broadly ovate. They are
fleshy in Aloe with a large water storing tissue. The venation is
parallel but in Smilax the leaves are net-veined. In Asparagus the
leaves are reduced to minute scales.Inflorescence and flowers:
are born in simple or branched racemes. They form apparent umbel in Alium
subtended by spathe like bracts. In Yucca
The inflorescence is a huge terminal panicle. Sometimes the flowers are solitary terminal as in Lilium
The flowers are often showy,bisexual, actinomorphic or slightly zygomorphic, usually trimerous and hypogynous.
of six tepals arranged in two whorls.They are free or united. The
perianth segments are usually petalloid and the two whorls are
usually of six stamens in two whorls.The filaments are free or variably
connate. The anthers are basifixed, dithecous,introrse or extrorse.
tricarpellary and syncarpous with a superior and trilocular ovary. The
style is usually one with three distinct stigmas. Usually the ovary has
three septal nectaries.
The fruit is usually a loculicidal or septicidal capsule or sometimes a berry as in Smilax and polygonatum.Pollination
: Showy fragrant flowers and nectaries are for insect pollination.
The family provides several food,drug and fibre plants and many genera are important as ornamentals.Allium cepa
(Garlic, Lasun)Asparagus officinalis
(Garden asparagus) Fleshy shoots as vegetables.Asparagus plumosus
: several varieties cultivated as ornamentals.
(South Indian Squill)Smilax
:Flowers yield red dye.Lilium
(Lily) They rank high among bulbous ornamentals.L.giganteum;L.candidum.