The ancient Greeks and Romans used some kinds in making certain salves and ointments. Lilies appeared as pottery decorations, in paintings, and in other forms of art hundreds of years ago. Species from many lands are cultivated in a number of countries, especially in Europe. From them, plant growers have developed popular hybrids and varieties of many colors and shapes, suited to different climates and uses. In most of the United States lilies bloom in almost every color (except blue). They can be grown from early summer to frost. Some kinds are grown as house plants. Many are raised each year in commercial greenhouses, especially for Easter.
To supply gardeners and other growers, thousands of different kinds of lily bulbs are raised in the United States, Japan, Bermuda, and many parts of Europe. New bulbs may be produced in several ways:
(1) By natural division of older bulbs.
(2) By small bulblets produced underground above or around the bulb.
(3) By aerial bulblets that grow in the leaf-axils of some species.
(4) By seeds, and from scales taken from bulbs. The word lily is included in the common name of many plants that are not true lilies. Among these are day lilies, plantain-lilies, Mari-pose-lilies, and trout-lilies or dogtooth violets. All of these are in the lily family but not of the genus Lilium. Others are calla lilies, in the same family as Jack-in-the-pulpit; belladonna lilies, of the Amaryllis family; and water lilies.