Within Canberra Nature Map, this group includes any herbaceous monocot that has prominent flowers in which the flower parts are in two whorls. Monocots have one seed leaf compared to two in dicotyledons. Mature plants are recognised by parallel longitudinal veins in their often narrow leaves and by having flowers parts in threes or multiples of three.
Identification is largely on differences in flower parts, the number of flowers borne at each part of the stem from which a leaf is attached or on the form of basal leaves. Ideally records for lilies and irises should include close-up photographs of the flowers and basal leaves and a shot that shows flower arrangement along the stem.
There are around 65 lilies and irises in the wider Canberra region, with about a quarter of all species being introduced plants from overseas. Most of the naturalised species, such as Jonquill, Grape Hyacinths and Freesia are largely confined to former settlements, with only Onion Grass being a major weed.
The more commonly observed species within this group include the Yellow Rush Lily, Bulbine Lily, Nodding Blue Lily and Early Nancy. Plants of the later either bear male or female flowers so it really should be called Early Nancy and Ned.
Being vulnerable to grazing, many of the native species are relatively uncommon including Milkmaids, Blue Grass-lily, Pale Flax-lily, Twining Fringe-lily and Wire lilies. New locations of any of these species are particularly encouraged to be reported via Canberra Nature Map.
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