BackgroundPetals are the colorful region of many ornamental plants. Quality traits of petal color directly affect the value of ornamental plants. Although the regulatory mechanism of flower color has been widely studied in many plants, that of lily flower color is still worth further exploration.ResultsIn this study, the pigmentation regulatory network in different regions of the petal of lily cultivar ‘Vivian’ was analyzed through tissue structure, metabolites biosynthesis, and gene expression. We found that cell morphology of the petal in un-pigmented region differed from that in pigmented region. The cell morphology tends to flatten in un-pigmented region where the color is lighter. Moreover, high level anthocyanin was found in the pigmented regions by metabonomic analysis, especially cyanidin derivatives. However, flavanones were accumulated, contrast with anthocyanin in the un-pigmented regions of lily petal. To understand the relationship of these different metabolites and lily flower color, RNA-Seq was used to analyze the differentially expressed genes-related metabolite biosynthesis. Among these genes, the expression levels of several genes-related cyanidin derivatives biosynthesis were significantly different between the pigmented and un-pigmented regions, such as LvMYB5, LvMYB7, LvF3’H, LvDFR, LvANS and Lv3GT.ConclusionsThis data will help us to further understand the regulation network of lily petal pigmentation and create different unique color species.