Description from Flora of China
Herbs perennial, bulbiferous. Bulb of many imbricate, fleshy scales, without tunic. Stem erect, leafy. Leaves alternate, rarely whorled, sessile or subsessile, usually linear to linear-lanceolate. Bulblets sometimes present in leaf axils. Inflorescence terminal, a raceme or solitary flower, very rarely an umbel or corymb; bracts leaflike. Flowers often funnelform or campanulate, sometimes tubular or cupular. Tepals 6, free, usually connivent, sometimes strongly recurved or revolute, white, yellow, greenish, or reddish to purplish, nectariferous near base adaxially; nectaries usually narrowly grooved, sometimes fringed with papillae or hairs, rarely flat on outer tepals. Stamens 6; filaments subulate or filiform, sometimes pubescent; anthers dorsifixed, versatile. Ovary 3-loculed; ovules many per locule. Style elongate, slender; stigma swollen, usually 3-lobed. Fruit a loculicidal capsule. Seeds many, arranged like a pile of coins in each valve, flat, narrowly winged all round.
The status of Lilium puerense Y. Y. Qian (Guihaia 11: 125. 1991) and L. rockii R. H. Miao (Acta Scient. Nat. Univ. Sunyatseni 34(3): 81. 1995) is unclear. Lilium puerense was described from S Yunnan (Pu’er Xian), based on specimens collected in 1987 (holotype: Y. Y. Qian 1774, SMAO). It is said to be similar to L. sulphureum but with leaf margin papillose, bracts ovate, and ovary greenish (vs. purple). Lilium rockii was described from Yunnan, based on a single specimen collected in 1932 ( J. F. Rock 25129, SYS). It is said to be close to L. concolor but with stem, leaf margin, and leaf veins on both surfaces shortly hirsute (vs. papillose), flowers larger, tepals yellowish (vs. deep red), and style longer (vs. shorter) than ovary. Lilium pyi is also an unclear species, of which no specimens were seen by the present authors. It is briefly described at the end of this account (no. 55), but could not be included in the key because insufficient details are known. Lilium apertum and L. saluenense are temporarily treated as Nomocharis aperta and N. saluenensis, respectively. At present, Nomocharis consists of six species. However, further studies are needed to clarify whether Nomocharis should be regarded as an independent genus or included within Lilium.
About 115 species: temperate and alpine regions of the N hemisphere, especially in E Asia; 55 species (35 endemic, one introduced) in China.
(Authors: Liang Songyun (梁松筠 Liang Song-jun); Minoru N. Tamura)