The ‘Lily families’ and all their uses, Part 2: The divers Asparagaceae and small Melanthiaceae.

The Star-of-Bethlehem is one attractive and native member in the Asparagaceae (Picture by Matt Summers)

This and the previous post are about a number of native families which in the ‘Wild Flower Key’ are lumped together into the one Liliaceae but are in fact classified in different families according to Stace.

Again, similar to the previous post this has several good garden plants which have established themselves often very happily in the wild!

The debate of native and non-native and what to include in my blog will be more and more difficult in future as rare endemics will not be known by many and certainly should not be ‘used’ in any way! Common, ornamental plants will be more accessible to all and get established in the wild more and more for everybody to use! They will become in fact our new ‘weeds’!

Click links for more info and pictures of the plants from various websites. Scientific/Latin Name usually has a link from the Online Atlas of the British Isles and Irish Flora. Pink background means a warning (such as poisonous!) or medicinal use, green for edible or other uses and blue for habitat where it can be found in B.I. , interesting facts or wildlife use.

Contents are included to easily jump to right genus on next page!

Pictures with thanks by Matt Summers, Mike Poulton of Ecorecord and Wikipedia .


ASPARAGACEAE – Asparagus family


  • Convallaria majalis or Lily-of-the-valley

Solomon’s -seals

  • Polygonatum multiflorum or Solomon’s- seal
  • Polygonatum x hybridum (P. multiflorum x P. odoratum) or Garden Solomon’s- seal
  • Polygonatum odoratum or Angular’s Solomon’s-seal
  • Polygonatum verticillatum or Whorled Solomon’s-seal

May Lily or Maianthemum bifolium


  • Ornithogalum pyrenaicum or Spiked Star-of-Bethlehem or Bath Asparagus
  • Ornithogalum umbellatum or Star-of-Bethlehem

Scilla or Squills

  • Scilla verna or Spring Squill
  • Scilla autumnalis or Autumn Squill


  • Hyacinthoides non-scripta or Bluebell
  • Hyacinthoides hispanica or Spanish Bluebell
  • Hyacinthoides x massartiana (= H. hispanica x H. non-scripta) or Hybrid Spanish Bluebell

Grape-hyacinth or Muscari neglectum


  • Asparagus prostratus or Wild Asparagus
  • Asparagus officinalis or Garden Asparagus

Butcher’s-broom or Ruscus aculeatus

Herb-Paris Family or MELANTHIACEAE

  • Paris quadrifolia or Herb-Paris
Continue reading “The ‘Lily families’ and all their uses, Part 2: The divers Asparagaceae and small Melanthiaceae.”