All About Lilies

There is no denying our love for lilies. With their rich symbolism, beautiful history, and distinct petals and characteristics, including lilies in bouquets and arrangements is truly something special. Learn why these blooms are so adored and ideal for just about any occasion!

A branch of blooming lilies in the wild

About the Lilium (Lily)

Native to North America, Australia, Asia, and Europe, lilies are one of the most popular flowers worldwide. From giant, showstopping lilies with a prominent fragrance to small, sweet, and unscented lilies, they bloom in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and colors. With so much variety, lilies are always the perfect addition to any floral bouquet. These fresh flowers begin to open once they are cut, placed in water, and brought indoors, so you will know your lilies are fresh when they are sent closed!

Characteristics of Lilies

Lilies are perennials that bloom in the spring and summer and flourish best when grouped together, often sprouting up and thriving in clusters of three, four, and five. Growing from either a seed or a bulb, lilies can reach up to six feet in height! Their large, vibrant, and alluring petals not only captivate humans but attract bees and pollinating insects as well. Lilies can be identified by their distinct six petals and six anthers that hold the lily's pollen.

Popular Lily Varieties

There are over 100 lily species among nine categories. Here are the ten most popular!

  • Asiatic Lily
  • Casa Blanca Lily
  • Easter Lily
  • Madonna Lily
  • Oriental Lily
  • Peruvian Lily (Alstroemeria)
  • Stargazer Lily
  • Tiger Lily
  • Trumpet Lily
  • Turk's Cap Lily
  • Golden-Rayed Lily
  • Leopard Lily

Lily Name Meaning

The word "lily" is derived from the Latin word "Lilium" and has a deep, rich tie to motherhood in multiple cultures. In Christianity, the Virgin Mary is symbolized by a white lily, which represents innocence, modesty, purity, and virginity.

According to ancient Greek mythology, when Zeus requested that his infant son Hercules drink from the breast of his wife Hera, she refused as Hercules was the son of another woman. While Hera was sleeping, Zeus snuck in with baby Hercules, but she awoke. As she pushed him away, drops of Hera's breast milk fell to earth, and from it grew incredible lily flowers.

Fun Facts About the Lily

  • The vase life of a fresh-cut lily rivals many other flowers.
  • Oriental Lilies are the most heavily perfumed, while Asiatic Lilies and Trumpet Lilies are unscented.
  • Calla Lilies, Peace Lilies, and Water Lilies are actually not a part of the lily family.
  • While beautiful to admire, many lilies are toxic to pets. However, Peruvian Lilies, or Alstroemeria, are among the few lilies nontoxic to cats and dogs.
  • The roots and oils of lilies have been used to successfully treat burns, fevers, and stomach ailments and aid women in labor.
  • Out of all the flower names, "Lily" is the most popular when it comes to naming baby girls.

Lily Symbolism

While lilies generally symbolize purity, grief, femininity, grace, rebirth, and love, the true symbolism of a lily relies on the color of its petals.

Photograph of white lilies

White Lilies

Purity, Grace, Virtue, & Innocence

Photograph of yellow lilies

Yellow Lilies

Gratitude, Health, Enjoyment, & Happiness

Photograph of orange lilies

Orange Lilies

Prosperity, Courage, Pride, & Confidence

Photograph of red lilies

Red Lilies

Longing, Romance, Passion, & Love

Photograph of pink lilies

Pink Lilies

Prosperity, Generosity, Elegance, & Femininity

Lily Occasions

Friendships, motherhood, and baby showers are perfect occasions to celebrate with lilies, particularly Alstroemeria and Madonna Lilies. Elegant lilies, like the Casa Blanca Lily, also represent 100 years of love and are the flower for commemorating 30th anniversaries.

White lilies are especially common to see in wedding bouquets, centerpieces, and ceremony decor, as they are thought to bring good luck to the happy couple and represent a pure and prosperous life. Celebrations of life also turn to white lilies. When incorporated in funeral arrangements, these flowers signify a serious, somber, and serene tone.

No matter the occasion, we invite you to explore our superb floral arrangements that include sweet and stunning lilies!

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