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Lilies

Lilies

Lilium (members of which are true lilies) is a genus of herbaceous flowering plants growing from bulbs, all with large prominent flowers. Lilies are a group of flowering plants which are important in culture and literature in much of the world. Most species are native to the temperate northern hemisphere, though their range extends into the northern subtropics. Many other plants have "lily" in their common name but are not related to true lilies. The botanic name Lilium is the Latin form and is a Linnaean name. The Latin name is derived from the Greek, generally assumed to refer to true, white lilies as exemplified by the Madonna lily. The word was borrowed from Coptic hleri, from standard hreri, from Demotic hrry, from Egyptian hrṛt "flower". Meillet maintains that both the Egyptian and the Greek word are possible loans from an extinct, substratum language of the Eastern Mediterranean. The Greeks also used the word κρῖνον, krīnon, albeit for non-white lilies. The term "lily" has in the past been applied to numerous flowering plants, often with only superficial resemblance to the true lily, including lotus, ranunculus, tulip, iris, anemone, agapanthus, zantedeschia, daylily, and others.
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