Erect, usually glabrous herbs. Leaves cauline, alternate or verticillate, linear or broadly flattened, usually sessile, sometimes with bulbils in their axils. Flowers solitary and terminal, or in a racemose inflorescence of solitary flowers in the axils of the often leaf-like bracts. Ovary superior, sessile, oblong to obovoid, 3-celled; Capsule coriaceous, loculicidal, perianth deciduous. Seeds flat.
Asia: present Asia-Temperate:, Taiwan (Taiwan ‒ present) Asia-Tropical:, Philippines (Philippines ‒ present) North America: present
Widespread with possibly 80 spp. in the temperate regions of North America, Europe and Asia (also Taiwan); in Malesia: Philippines.
Sealy - in Kew Bull. 1950: 273
Linne, Gen. Pl., ed. 5. 1754: 143
Krause - in E. & P., Nat. Pfl. Fam., ed. 2, 15a. 1930: 329
Baker - in J. Linn. Soc. Bot. 1875: 225
Elwes, Monogr. genus Lilium. 1880
Drysdale Woodcock & Stearn, Lilies of the World. 1950
Wilson, Lilies of E. Asia. 1925
Hutch. - in Fam. Fl. Pl., ed. 2. 1959: 609