It’s easy to see why the lily is a popular favorite during spring, considering it’s used as a symbol of Easter.
The genus Lilium includes over 100 different species. Lilies are a favorite among gardeners and florists for their large, showy blooms. Lilies thrive in many types of landscapes and even do well in potted containers.
Where Did The Name Come From?
The Latin name for Lily is the botanic name Lilium, this is derived from the Greek word leírion, (λείριον). This word has an unusual history, it comes from a mix of Greek and Egyption words. Linguists, or language specialists, believe that both the Egyptian and the Greek word are possible loans from an extinct, substratum language of the Eastern Mediterranean.
Speaking of names, ‘lily’ tends to get thrown around a lot in the flower world. Calla lilies, water lilies, lily of the valley — none of these are actually in the lily family.
Lilies in the Kitchen?
Lilies are also very important to cultural and even culinary traditions to much of the world. That’s right! In many areas, especially in Asia, lily bulbs are eaten as root vegetables, much like potatoes! (Although bulbs of some species may be very bitter.) Below is a picture of a bag of lily bulb noodles.
THE MADONNA LILY
The Madonna Lily, Lilium candidum, is perhaps the best known lily species there is. The Madonna Lily symbolizes purity for Roman Catholics. In medieval times, depictions of the Virgin Mary often show her holding these flowers. Going back even further, Madonna lilies are depicted on wall paintings at the Minoan palace of Knossos.
There are translations of the Bible that identify the Hebrew word Shoshannah as ‘lily’ in Song of Soloman (Song of Songs) “As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters.” Song of Soloman 2:2 (KJV), not as a rose as is customary to translate.
In King Solomon’s Temple there were also designs of Madonna lilies on the columns.
TYPES OF LILY FLOWERS
1. Trumpet-Shaped – These lilies are characterized by trumpet-like blooms and are easy to recognize.
2. Funnel-Shaped - Probably the rarest of all lily flower shapes, the trumpet hangs it’s head down low with slightly opened petals.
3. Recurved - This beautiful and unusual flower shape hangs it’s head down and it’s petals curve backwards over it’s base.
4. Bowl-Shaped – More open than any of the other lily flowers, the bowl-shaped variety is proud to show you it’s color!
There are also 8 divisions of hybrid species created to enhance specific aspects of each, from scent to amount of blooms.
Lilies make GREAT gifts, check out some of the options below, or browse or flower gallery.
We want to hear from you!
Do you grow lilies in your garden? Or have you designed or received a beautiful arrangement filled with these gorgeous flowers? Post a pic in the comments below and we’ll add it to this post! We can’t wait to hear from you.
This post is brought to you by local San Jose, CA florists.
No where near California? No worries, use Flower Shop Network’s handy directory to find a real florist near you!