INTRODUCTION: The lily
family is a very large family of monocots. Many are used as ornamentals in the
landscape. Some botanists lump many members of the Agavaceae in with the Liliaceae,
but that is not done here. Most of the common house plants in the lily family are
grown for their foliage. Some bulbous forms with showy flowers would be grown
similar to the bulb plants described in the general section on bulbs above. Some
members of the family are food crops, for example, asparagus, and others are grown for
medicinal uses, for example aloe.
Aloe barbadensis, often
called Aloe vera, is commonly known as the
burn plant for its effectiveness in treating burns but it has many other medicinal
uses. There are many other species of Aloe that are also attractive house
plants. The aloes have a rosette of fleshy leaves that are very succulent and not
fibrous as are the leaves of agaves. Many aloes have variegated leaves with spots
and stripes and often toothed edges. The flowers are attractive and occur in the
are members of the species Asparagus
densiflorus, often referred to as Asparagus sprengeri. These are flowering plants and only called fern
due to the vague resemblance of some of the members to ferns. They produce long
stems covered with fine leaves and, in many cases, thorns. These plants are very
rugged and many have fleshy tuberous roots. Flowers are small and inconspicuous.
The genus Chlorophytum
produces long flower stalks that also produce plantlets at their nodes. The distinct
appearance of the stolons of plantlets gives this plant its common names, airplane
plant and spider plant. The
chlorophytums all produce a rosette of strap-shaped leaves that are often variegated with
white or yellow stripes. The flowers are not very noticeable except that they appear
on the long stems that also produce the plantlets.
is a large genus with many house plant forms. They produce rosettes of very
succulent, small leaves that are often variegated with stripes or spots. The zebra haworthia has small white tubercles that look
like spots and merge in bright white lines against the dark green background, the zebra
-like appearance leading to its common name.
General Care of the Lily Family:
||Average room temperature is adequate.
||Well-drained medium typical of the
succulent medium or general purpose medium described above.
||Water thoroughly and allow to dry between
||Most will tolerate lower light levels,
but they grow best and are more colorful if grown in moderate to bright light.
||Light to moderate fertilization.
|pests and problems:
||These are relatively pest and disease
||Remove dead leaves and repot when they
||Suckers, separation of offsets, division
and seed are the common methods of propagation.