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October 16, 2020 2 min read

Lily Facts

  • Lilies are the most popular of all flower names for girls.
  • Lilies are very fragrant and are often used in perfumes.
  • Lily bulbs should be planted during the fall, as they require a cold, dormant period and bloom in the summer.
  • They are extremely toxic to cats.

Lily Story and Origins

Lilies are part of the genusLilium, which is known as the group of “true lilies”. Though many other flowers use the word lily in their common name, they are not part of this genus (and therefore are not true lilies). For examples include water lilies, calla lilies, daylilies.

The lily is often associated with the story of Hera and Zeus, though thecalla lily can be associated with this story as well. According to the myth, Zeus wanted baby Hercules to drink the milk of Hera, his wife. As Hercules was born of another woman, Hera disagreed. Zeus brought Hercules to Hera while she was sleeping to drink her milk, but she awoke and pushed him away. The drops of milk that spilled on the ground grew into lilies.

Lily Meaning

Lilies most commonly mean devotion or purity, though meaning can vary by the type of lilies, cultures, and color.

  • In regards to the Greek myth of Hera and Zeus, lilies are associated with rebirth and motherhood.
  • In China, lilies are commonly used at weddings because they are tied to 100 years of love. They are also tied to good luck.
  • Assyrians and Babylonians associate lilies with the goddess of fertility, Ishtar.
  • Christians associate lilies with the Virgin Mary, especially Madonna lilies.

Symbolism

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

  • White lilies symbolize purity and virtue.
  • Red lilies symbolize passion.
  • Pink (stargazer) lilies symbolize prosperity and abundance.
  • Yellow lilies symbolize thankfulness and desire for enjoyment.
  • Orange (tiger) lilies symbolize confidence, pride, and wealth.