Onion Root Tip Mitosis
The lily family comprises more than 250 genera and about 4,000 species of mostly herbaceous flowering plants, many with showy flowers. They are among the oldest cultivated plants, used by the ancient Greeks and Romans for medicinal purposes as well as prized garden ornamentals. The bulb of the Madonna lily was cultivated by cultures in Asia Minor for use in a ointment as early as the 2nd millennium BC. Other members of the lily family -- garlic, onions, chives, shallots, leeks, and asparagus -- are better known for their culinary applications and were used for food by prehistoric humans. The lily flower has held significance for various cultures over thousands of years, usually as a symbol of fertility and rebirth, but also as a symbol of innocence.