Although humble in rank, this Family enrolls many beautiful flowers. If the leaves are long and narrow, with the veins running their entire length, from base to apex (parallel-veined); if they are found mostly at the base of the flower stalk, only a few whorled or scattered along the stalk, the plant is probably a member of the Lily Family. (There are exceptions as in the wild smilax, which is net-veined.) They spring from corms, bulbs, or from an underground stem, rootstock. The parts of the flower are in threes or sixes (called 6-androus). The calyx is not distinguishable from the corolla in size and color. We speak of such a floral envelope as the perianth. The six divisions of the perianth may be entirely separate and spreading, or they may assume a funnel shape below. There are six stamens, one standing opposite each of the perianth divisions. Ovaries are 3-celled, surmounted by a long style and club-shaped stigma.

Besides the bright-hued and conspicuous wild lilies proper, here belong many of the spring's early and delicate flowers, as the dog's-tooth violet, star of Bethlehem, trillium, and bell wort.