Liliales is an order of monocotyledonous flowering plants. The representatives of this order are mostly herbaceous, but lianas and shrubs occur. They are mostly perennial, with food storage organs such as corms or rhizomes.
By the modern approach, Liliales consist of 10 families, among which Corsiaceae is notable for being saprophytes. The order has worldwide distribution. The larger families (with more than 100 species) are roughly confined to the Northern Hemisphere, or are distributed worldwide, centering on the north. On the contrary, the small families (with up to 10 species) are confined to the Southern Hemisphere, or sometimes just to Australia or to the South America. The total number of species in the order is about 1300, which is rather small.
As of any herbaceous group, the fossil record of the Liliales is rather scarce. There are several species from the Eocene, such as Petermanniopsis anglesaensis or Smilax, but their identification is not definite. Another known fossil is Ripogonum scandens from the Miocene. Due to the scarcity of data, it seems impossible to determine precisely the age and the initial distribution of the order. It is assumed that the Liliales originate from the Lower Cretaceous, over 100 million years ago. The initial diversification to the families took place between 82 and 48 million years ago (Vinnersten and Bremer, 2001).
Common types of plants in this order include the lily, after which the order is named.
Once a wide variety of forms were placed here, but since then the group has been divided up, with the various families being moved to other orders and creating two new ones, the Dioscoreales and Asparagales. Many genera formerly classified in Liliaceae were assigned to new families. The APG II Classification System (created by the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group) identifies ten families in order Liliales:
The APG Classification System is widely recognized by botanists, but other classification systems are in use as well.
- W. S. Judd, C. S. Campbell, E. A. Kellogg, P. F. Stevens, M. J. Donoghue (2002). Plant Systematics: A Phylogenetic Approach, 2nd edition. pp. 248-254 (Liliales). Sinauer Associates, Sunderland, Massachusets. ISBN 0878934030.
- K. J. Perleb (1826). Lehrbuch der Naturgeschichte des Pflanzenreichs, 129. Magner, Freiburg im Breisgau, Deutschland.
- P. J. Rudall, K. L. Stobart, W.-P. Hong, J. G. Conran, C. A. Furness, G. C. Kite, M. W. Chase (2000). Consider the Lilies: Systematics of Liliales. In: Monocots: Systematics and Evolution (Wilson K, Morrison DA, eds.) pp. 347-359. CSIRO, Melbourne. ISBN 0643064370.
- A. Vinnersten, K. Bremer (2001). Age and biogeography of major clades in Liliales. American Journal of Botany 88 (9), 1695-1703. (Available online: Abstract (http://www.amjbot.org/cgi/content/abstract/88/9/1695) | Full text (HTML) (http://www.amjbot.org/cgi/content/full/88/9/1695))