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October 16, 2020 2 min read

Lily Story and Origins

Lilies are a part of the genus Lilium.It is known as the group of “true lilies”. Though many other flowers use the word lily in their common name, they included in this particular genus (and therefore are not considered as true lilies). For examples: daylilies. water lilies, calla lilies etc.

The lily flower is often associated with the story of Hera and Zeus. According to the myth, Zeus wanted his son Hercules to drink the milk of Hera, his beloved wife. However, Hercules was born of another woman which caused Hera to disagree. While Hera was asleep, Zeus had brought Hercules to Hera to drink her milk, but she awoke and pushed him away. It was said that the drops of milk that spilled on the ground grew into lilies.

Lily Facts

  • Lilies are very fragrant therefore are often used in perfumes.
  • Lilies are one of the most popular flower names for girls.
  • Lily bulbs should be planted during the fall, as they require a cold, dormant period and bloom in the summer.
  • The lily flowers are extremely toxic to cats. Therefore cat owners should always be mindful when they receive or purchase the lily flower.

Lily Meaning

Lilies most commonly mean devotion or purity but the meaning can vary depending on the type of lilies, the cultures, and the colors.

  • Regarding to the Greek myth of Hera and Zeus, lilies are associated with rebirth and motherhood.
  • In China, lilies are commonly used at weddings as they are tied to 100 years of love and good luck.
  • Assyrians and Babylonians often associate the lily flower with the goddess of fertility, Ishtar.
  • Christians associate the lily flower with the Virgin Mary. Especially the Madonna lilies.


Lilies commonly grow in colors of white, yellow, pink, red, and orange.

  • White: purity and virtue.
  • Red: passion.
  • Pink: prosperity and abundance.
  • Yellow: thankfulness and desire for enjoyment.
  • Orange: symbolize confidence, pride, and wealth.