This section is from the book "On British Wild Flowers Considered In Relation To Insects", by John Lubbock. Also available from Amazon: Nature Series On British Wild Flowers Considered In Relation To Insects.
This order contains seventeen British genera, including the Lily, Onion, Tulip, Colchicum, Asparagus, Solomon's Seal, Fritillaria, Lily of the Valley, Butcher's Broom (Ruscus), etc.
Paris quadrifolia is proterogynous. The perianth is yellowish green, and produces no honey. The structure of this curious flower has not I think been satisfactorily explained. It appears to be one of the species which deludes flies. The dark purple ovary glitters as if it were covered by honey.
The Lily of the valley (Convallaria majalis) is likewise honeyless but is much visited by Hive bees for the pollen.
Allium ursinum is melliferous, and imperfectly proterandrous; Llovdia serotina, on the contrary, is said by Ricca to be very decidedly so.
Hyacinihus orientalis produces no honey, but the fleshy base of the flower is pierced by some insects for the sake of the sap.
The Common Asparagus is a cultivated variety of A. officinalis, which grows on maritime sands, or sandy plains, in central and western Asia, and on the south European coasts up to the English Channel. The flowers are melliferous, small, greenish white, on slender stalks two or three together in the axils of the branches. The species is particularly interesting, as an instance of an unisexual flower, which is evidently descended from bisexual ancestors; since the male flowers contain a rudimentary style, the female flowers rudimentary stamens. In accordance with Sprengel's rule, the male flowers are distinctly larger than the female, being about six mm. long, while the female are only three mm. long.
Colchicitm autumnale is proterogynous, though the stigma is still capable of fertilisation when the anthers ripen. Honey is secreted by the base of the stamens.