En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?


Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - August 27, 2006

From: Oegstgeest/NL, Other
Region: Other
Topic: General Botany, Plant Identification
Title: Books on Lilies
Answered by: Nan Hampton


Dear Sir, I am looking for a book covering the Lily Family as a whole, i.e., it should preferably also discuss other Genera than Lilium only. I am especially interested in Lily members occurring in the wild, such as those belonging to the genera Lilium, Maianthemum, Polygonatum, Smilacina, Trillium, Uvularia, Veratrum, etc. Thank you very much in advance for your help. P.S. I own Lady Bird Johnson's book: Wildflowers across America - a very beautiful book!


If you are looking for identification guides for lily species, you will need to find regional guides. There are many excellent guides for North America. Generally, they cover the most commonly encountered species in various families of flowering plants of the area. However, you can find some that are narrower in focus, such as Flowering Plants: Lilies to Orchids (Illustrated Flora of Illinois). Since, I believe, you are in the Netherlands, you may perhaps be looking for European identification guides. Since our focus and expertise is in plants native to North America, we can't really offer you any recommendations for guides to European species; however, if you are interested in North American species, our Native Plant Bibliography offers regional lists of plant books.

For a more scholarly technical treatment of the Family Liliaceae and related families, you might be able to locate a library copy of The Families of the Monocotyledons: Structure, Evolution, and Taxonomy by R. M. T. Dahlgren et al. Springer, 1985. For an online treatment of the Family Liliaceae, with a dichotomous key, see Flora of North America. You will also find links to other online Flora there, such as Flora of China.

Three recent publications offered by Amazon.com which may be of interest are: 1. Lilies by Pamela McGeorge, Firefly Press, 2004; 2. Lilies: A Guide for Growers and Collectors by Edward A. McRae, Timber Press. 1998; and 3. The Gardener's Guide to Growing Lilies by Michael Jefferson-Brown, Timber Press, 2002.

You might also like to visit the North American Lily Society web page.


More Plant Identification Questions

Identification of riparian plant in Pennsylvania
June 05, 2013 - I'm wondering if this is a native plant: the plant is 3-5ft. tall, it has a tough reedy stalk, grows in sunny riparian areas, has whorled leaves with toothed margin, and has elongated clusters of tin...
view the full question and answer

Why is Mentzelia oligosperma called chickenthief?
July 15, 2014 - Could you tell me why Mentzelia oligosperma is sometimes called chickenthief?
view the full question and answer

Plant identification in Georgia
September 14, 2011 - I saw the same question that I was going to ask about the plant that folds its leaves at dusk, with sparse branches, rapid growth, small yellow flowers and long (whisker-like, but do not appear to be ...
view the full question and answer

Key for Verbesina virginica
June 16, 2014 - Are the stems of Verbesina virginica hairy? My in-laws have what I believe is Verbesina virginica (blooms in September here in VA) and another wild flower that blooms before it and is yellow. I'd l...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification of a potted vine in California
October 04, 2011 - Hi, we have a tropical vine growing in a pot on our patio that my wife bought at the county fair. We've had it for a couple of years but I just noticed it now has a sort of pear like fruit on it. It ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center