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Semi Technical Description of Family Liliaceae and Brassicaceae

Semi Technical Description of Family Liliaceae and Brassicaceae

You might have heard about the tulip farms of the Netherlands. Every year many tourists visit this place. It gives a mind blowing view. You can cycle through these fields enjoying the beauty of beautiful gardens. The below given are the fields of tulip flowers.

Fig: Farm of tulip flowers

But do you have any idea about the family of tulip flowers? Why are they so beautiful?

Are there other flowers that belong to this category?

The answers to all these questions are that they belong to the family Liliaceae. This family also contains flower lilies and some bulbous vegetables. Do you know that patients suffering from goitre should not eat cabbage, cauliflower, and radish? This is because these vegetables belonging to the Liliaceae family remove iodine from the body. Let’s take a deep dive into this article and try to find out the answers to all these questions.

Table of contents

  • Family Liliaceae
  • Vegetative characters
  • Floral characters
  • Description of fruits and seeds
  • Floral formula of family Liliaceae
  • Floral diagram of family Liliaceae
  • Economic importance
  • Family Brassicaceae
  • Vegetative characters
  • Floral characters
  • Description of fruits and seeds
  • Floral formula of family Brassicaceae
  • Floral diagram of family Brassicaceae
  • Economic importance
  • Practice Problems 
  • FAQs

Family Liliaceae

This family is commonly referred to as the lily family. These plants are usually herbs that have underground bulbs and radical leaves, which means the leaves are arranged along an aerial stem. They belong to the division Spermatophyta, class Monocotyledonae and order Liliales. 

Vegetative Characters

The following are the major vegetative characteristics of the family Liliaceae. 


They are monocotyledonous plants. That means the seed possesses only a single cotyledon. It is distributed worldwide. Examples include tulips, onions, lilies, etc. 

Fig: Family Liliaceae


The plants in the Liliaceae family are perennial herbs. Their perennial structures include underground rhizomes, bulbs or corms. They are rarely climbers or shrubs. 

Fig: Perennial herbs

Root System

They possess a fibrous root system. In certain cases it becomes fleshy to store food. Examples include Asparagus

Fig: Fibrous roots

Shoot System

The stem is herbaceous or woody. It is modified into cladode like in Asparagus. In the Liliaceae family, an underground storage stem is present. It can be corm, bulb, or rhizome




Fig: Colchicum autumnale

 Fig: Onion

 Fig: Gloriosa


They possess basal leaves that arise from the base of the stem. Leaves are normally exstipulate. Leaves are sessile with a sheathing base. 

 Fig: Basal leaves inLiliaceae

Leaf arrangement (phyllotaxy): Alternate

Exstipulate - No stipules

Parallel venation

 Fig: Alternate

Fig: Exstipulate 

Fig: Parallel venation

Floral characters

The following are the major floral characters:


Solitary, axillary or cymose with umbellate clusters

Fig: Flowers


Bisexual or hermaphrodite (⚥)

Fig: Flower entire


Actinomorphic (⊕) or shows radial symmetry

Fig: Flower

Perianth (P)

In these plants, there is no calyx or corolla, instead a perianth is present. The perianth is made up of tepals. They have six tepals which are arranged in two groups - P(3+3). Tepals unite into tubes. They possess valvate aestivation

Fig: Perianth


Fig: Valvate

Androecium (A)

Six stamens are present. They are arranged in two groups of three each - A3 + 3. They possess Epiphyllous stamens, that means stamens attached to the tepals.

Fig: Stamens


Fig: Flower entire

Gynoecium (G)

  • Tricarpellary - Three carpels present.
  • Syncarpous - They possess united carpels - G(3)
  • Trilocular ovary with multiple ovules.
  • Shows axile placentation

Fig: Ovary

Description of fruits and seeds

They normally possess capsule fruits and the seeds are monocotyledonous.





It is a dry dehiscent fruit that undergoes dehiscence and liberates seeds at maturity. They are rarely berry

Fig: Fruits


They possess multiple seeds. These seeds are monocotyledonous and endospermous.

Fig: Seeds

Floral formula of family Liliaceae

Fig: Floral formula

Floral diagram of family Liliaceae

The perianth has six tepals in the outermost whorls, which are arranged in two whorls. Six stamens are arranged in two whorls. Epiphyllous condition in which the stamens are attached to tepals present. Tricarpellary condition of the flower is present. Ovary is trilocular with axile placentation. 

Fig: Floral diagram

Economic Importance

Few members are ornamental. Examples include tulips, Gloriosa, etc. Few vegetables are also present. Examples include Asparagus, onion, etc. Some are medicinal plants. Examples include Aloe, Colchicum autumnale, etc. Aloin is obtained from Aloe vera. It is a purgative. Dried corms from the plant Colchicum autumnale can be used against rheumatism and gout. 


This family is commonly known as the mustard family. The plants are mostly herbs and sulphur-smelling plants as they are rich in sulphur-rich glucoside. They have a pungent smell. 

Vegetative characters

The following are the common vegeatative characteristics in the family Brassicaceae. 


They possess medium-sized flowering plants. They possess annual, biennial, or perennial plants.

Fig: Mustard plant


They possess herbs, shrubs, or climbers. 

Root system

Taproot system is present in this family.

Fig: Tap root system

Shoot system

Stem is upright and erect. It may be woody. Storage underground stems called rhizomes are present in certain cases.


The leaf is exstipulate that shows an alternate phyllotaxy or opposite phyllotaxy. Simple or pinnately compound leaves are commonly present in this family.

Floral characters

The following are the common floral characters: 


Racemose, panicle, or corymb inflorescence is normally present.


Flowers are bisexual and zygomorphic.


Four sepals are present in this family. They are free. They show valvate aestivation.

Fig: Valvate


Four petals are present in this family. They are free. They show valvate aestivation


Tetradynamous condition is its unique feature. In the tetradynamous condition, the flower has six stamens that are arranged into two groups. One group has two short stamens and the other group has four long stamens.

Fig: Mustard androecium


Two carpels present. They possess bilocular and hypogynous ovaries.


Fruit is a capsule type in this family.


Dicotyledonous seeds are present in this group. These are non-endospermic seeds.

Floral formula of family Brassicaceae

Fig: Floral formula

Floral diagram of family Brassicaceae

In the outermost whorl, the calyx has four sepals and shows valvate aestivation. In the second whorl, the corolla has four petals and shows valvate aestivation. In the third whorl, the androecium has six stamens and shows tetradynamous condition. The ovary is a bicarpellary with two fused carpels. Shows parietal placentation.

Fig: Floral diagram

Economic importance

Agricultural crops include cabbage, broccoli, kale, brussel sprouts, kohlrabi, etc. Spices include mustard. Oil is produced by a few members. Examples include rapeseed oil. Ornamental plants include species of Aethionema, Alyssum, Arabis, etc.

Practice Problems

Q1. Identify the plant that shows parallel venation.

  1. Potato
  2. Pea plant
  3. Groundnut
  4. Lily

Solution: The arrangement of veins and veinlets in the leaf lamina is referred to as venation. Monocots have parallel venation as a distinguishing trait. Veins run parallel to each other in parallel venation. The lily plant is monocotyledonous, with parallel venation. Hence, the correct option is d.

Q2. Umbel inflorescence is seen in

  1. Lupin
  2. Trifolium
  3. Soyabean
  4. Onion

Solution: Inflorescence refers to the arrangement of flowers along the floral axis. The peduncle (floral axis) of the onion has clusters of flowers with equal-length short stalks. Umbel is the name for this type of inflorescence. Hence, the correct option is d.

Q3. The underground stem is found in which of the following plants?

  1. Potato
  2. Garlic
  3. Onion
  4. All of the above

Solution: Some stems are modified to perform certain roles. The underground stems of potatoes store food resources. They are known as tubers. Onion and garlic have bulbous underground stems that have been much diminished. Onion and garlic leave stored food material and become fleshy. Hence, the correct option is d.

Q4. Which of the following families is not represented by trees?

  1. Solanaceae
  2. Anacardiaceae
  3. Liliaceae
  4. Fabaceae

Solution: Monocot plants are typically perennial or annual herbs, and Liliaceae is a monocot family. Hence, the correct option is c.


Question 1. Is lily a complete or incomplete flower?
Answer: Lily flowers are complete and perfect, containing both male and female organs, as well as sepals, petals, pistils, and stamens.

Question 2. Why is lily known as a flower of light?
Answer: Lily flower blooms during the day, hence the lily is known as the ‘flower of light.’ This lily flower falls and dies as soon as night falls.

Question 3. Which type of fruit is present in the family of Brassicaceae?
Answer: A silique is a common name for the mustard family's (Brassicaceae) fruit. It develops from bicarpellary, syncarpous ovaries having parietal placentation. 

Question 4. How many times does a lily flower bloom?
Answer: Lilies bloom only once a year. To restart the flowering cycle, they require a chilly winter dormant period of at least 8 weeks. Each plant blooms for two to three weeks each year. It is possible to span the entire summer by choosing types with staggered bloom seasons (June - August).

Youtube link: Not available

Related Topics

Semi Technical Description of a Typical Flowering Plant: General description of the plant, Floral diagram, Floral formula, Practice Problems, and FAQs

Semi Technical Description of Fabaceae: Vegetative and floral characters, Description of fruits and seeds, Floral formula and floral diagram, Economic importance, Practice Problems and FAQs

Semi-Technical Description of Solanaceae: Vegetative and floral characters, Description of fruits and seeds, Floral formula and floral diagram, Economic importance, Practice Problems, and FAQs

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