Lilies - A Guide to Lily Flowers

“When you have only two pennies left in the world, buy a loaf of bread with one, and a lily with the other.” -- Chinese Proverb

Originating from Asia, the lily flower is now spread and cultivated almost all around the globe, especially in warm tempered and tropical regions. Its majestic beauty, rich bloom and breathtaking scent have captivated the hearts of many, making the lily flower almost as popular as the rose. Dating back from 1600 BC and grouping about 300 species of flowers, lilies have a strong symbolism suite associated, being numerously encountered in religion and heraldry.

The Lily Flower

There are many legends revolving around the lily flower, one of them, from the ancient Greek mythology, saying that the lily flower was dedicated to Hera. It is said that Zeus wanted his mortal son Hercules to enhance his deity side, so he tricked his wife Hera into breastfeeding him while she was asleep. Upon waking up, she threw away the child and drops of her milk fell through the sky forming the Milky Way, while those landing on the ground gave birth to lily flowers.

A Roman legend explains the appearance of the huge lily flower pistil, symbol of masculinity, saying that when goddess Venus was born from the sea foam she saw a lily flower and was instantly jealous of its beauty. Thus, she punished the lily flower by making it grow an enormous pistil in the middle.

In Christian tradition, the lily flower has several associations. On one hand, the lily flower is said to have sprung from the tears Eve shed when leaving Paradise, while most popular legends relate the Lily Flower with the Resurrection of Christ and the Virgin Mary.

If you decide planting lilies in your back garden, here are a few tips that will guarantee the success of your lily garden:

  • Plant the lily bulbs in late fall or early winter. This will guarantee they will bloom in time.
  • Planting the bulbs in early spring will get you lilies in bloom in June and even in late July.
  • Keep the lily bulbs in cool, dark places, but keep them away from frost, usually at temperatures above 28 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Plant the lily bulbs in well drained soil, with at least half a day of sun, if not in full sun. What happens is the lilies will always lean towards the light.
  • Plant the bulbs 4 to 6 inches deep into the soil, since lilies like a cool soil during the summer.
  • Although lilies like watering, they don’t like being watered after they bloom, so try to water them only when needed after flowering.
  • Your lilies will multiply in your garden by the division of the old bulbs and new bulbs growing around the old ones.

Lilies are exuberant flowers that pop out in any bouquet or arrangement you want to include them.

Alone or combined, lilies will always have a dashing effect upon the human's eye. Although there is a great variety of lilies, you can be sure that they will always make a dramatic statement, no matter in which size or color you combine them.

Lilies are known to have a drastic effect if used either in monochromatic bouquets or arrangements, or in colored ones. Therefore, depending on the statement you wish to make you can easily combine:

  • Lilies – orange lilies or yellow lilies with orchids, roses and narcissus if you want to obtain a vibrant bouquet or arrangement.
  • You can also mix red cherry lilies with roses and gerbera daisies if you want to make a romantic statement – this arrangement is filled both with simplicity and a tender feeling.
  • You can use the lily flower in bridal arrangements- especially the tiger lily – as they are known to bring prosperity, purity and good fortune.
  • The eucharis lily bouquets symbolize the womanly charm so if you wish to emphasize this, eucharis lilies are the answer.
  • Stargazer lilies can be used in sympathy bouquets as they symbolize mourning and sorrow, so if you wish to pay off your respects, a stargazer lily bouquet or a stargazer lily arrangement is a definite choice.
  • Be careful with orange lilies though as they symbolize dislike, so watch out for them if you ever think of giving such a bouquet.

Lilies – a perfect choice for your wedding arrangements! With their delicate look, fragrant flower blooms and enchanting scent, they will definitely make a difference in your wedding flower arrangements.

So, if you want to pick lilies as your wedding flowers, here are a few things you should bear in mind:

  • A lily bridal bouquet will always rest easily in a bride's hands as they have a unique shape that will enrich anyone carrying them.
  • If you wish to have a both classical and elegant wedding, lilies should be your first choice as they have a grandiose style that inspires refined beauty.
  • Lilies are known to have mythical properties and symbolize purity – this makes them a natural choice four your bridal bouquet – no matter if it is round-shaped, posey or hand-tied.
  • If you opt for a luxurious wedding then make sure you pick Asiatic lilies for your wedding flower arrangements – Asiatic lilies are magical flowers that will glow in the hands of any bride!
  • You can also use the beautiful Oriental lilies for your wedding arrangements – they are highly scented and they always reveal the beauty of the purest lily and its magic as well.
  • You can also use classical trumpet lilies for wedding arrangements, corsages or bouquets as they will add a royal look to your wedding!
  • Lilies come in various colors– white, yellow, pink, red, ruby, as no matter in which shape or color they are put together they will look splendidly in any wedding arrangement!
  • Remember lilies look great in centerpieces especially if they are mixed with each other – stargazer lilies with oriental lilies, Asiatic lilies with gloriosa or hybrid lilies – mix them with baby breaths, daisies, calla lilies and your boutonnieres, corsages or centerpieces will look marvelous!

Lilies come in a wide variety of colors. Here are some lilies types:

  • White Lily

    The white lily symbolizes purity and majesty. There are several legends about the creation of this magnificent white flower, most of them related to Christianity: one story says white lilies were born from Eve’s tears as she was leaving the Garden of Eden, others say that they grew from the drops of sweat as Jesus was praying in the Garden of Ghetsmani. When offered as gifts, these white flowers say: “It’s heavenly to be with you”.

  • Pink Lily

    The pink lily signifies prosperity and wealth on one hand and youth and aspiration on the other. These pink flowers come in a large variety, from light to hot and dark pink: the Oriental Lily “Hot Lips”, the Asiatic Lily “Lollipop” and the Pink Stargazer Lily. This last pink flower is perfect for any occasion due to its striking appearance and extraordinary powerful scent.

  • Red Lily

    This red flower, originally from Caucasus has a less common color for a lily. The legend says the red lily was born from a proud white lily which blushed and lowered its head with embarrassment as Christ walked by it.

  • Purple Lily

    A hybrid between regal trumpet lilies and the more exotic Asiatic Lily, purple lilies come in a variety called Purple Prince. This purple flower has a leathery texture and a satin aspect, reaching a soft brown color at maturity.

  • Orange Lily

    Also called the Fire Lily, the Orange Lily often symbolizes hatred or the death of the recipient when offered as a gift.

  • Tiger Lily

    A species of orange and black lily, the Tiger Lily is a token of pride, wealth and jealousy.

  • Black Lily

    Aside the Tiger Lily, which can also be considered a black flower, the most popular varieties of black lilies are: “Black Spider” Asiatic lily in black&white, black-red “Black Beauty” lily variety and “Black Jack” lily.