Family Liliaceae > Subfamily Lilioideae > Tribe Lilieae.
The approximately 75 species are divided into 4 subgenera including Tulipa with 52 species.
They are widely naturalised and cultivated as massed displays and for gardens and cut flowers.
They do best in temperate climates.
They are perennial herbs with bulbs that have a dry, protective coating.
Leaves appear in early spring and after flowering the leaves die and the plant becomes dormant.
Their height varies from 10 cm to around 70 cm.
Typically they have 2 to 6 leaves but some species have more.
The alternately arranged leaves are clustered at the base of the stem.
They are strap-like and have no stalks.
They are blue-green or grey-green with a waxy coating.
Inflorescences are typically a single, erect flower at the top of the stem.
Each bulb usually has only one stem and inflorescence but some species have more.
The bowl or star-shaped flowers are large and radially symmetric.
The perianth consists of 6 tepals in 2 whorls of 3.
They can be identical or there may be differences between the whorls.
Tepals in the inner whorl have a small notch at the tip.
They come in white and all, usually bright, colours except blue.
The inside of the tepal bases may have a patch in a different colour.
Flowers are bisexual.
There are 6 stamens in 2 whorls of 3 with filaments that are wider at the base.
The filaments sometimes have hairs.
The anthers open inwards via long slits.
The superior ovary, of 3 fused carpels has 3 locules.
The short style has a stigma with 3, usually joined, lobes.
The fruit is a capsule.
There are thousands of hybrids and cultivars with a huge range of features.
Tepals can be variegated, striped or multicoloured and some have feathered edges.
Horticulturally they are divided into 15 groups based on their parentage and appearance.
They can also be divided by whether they flower early, mid or late in the season.