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The Enchanting Story of Lilies

In the realm of flowers, few captivate the human heart and imagination quite like lilies. With their elegant and alluring presence, lilies have adorned gardens, art, and cultures for centuries, leaving an indelible mark on human history. Delve into the enchanting tale of lilies, exploring their rich history, diverse usage, and profound symbolic meanings.

Flowers in Focus - Lilies

Lily Flowers - A Journey Through History

Lilies have an ancient lineage, tracing back more than 4,000 years to the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Greece, and Rome. The regal beauty of lily flowers captivated the Egyptians, who associated them with rebirth and the afterlife, often adorning tombs and artwork with their images. In Greek mythology, lilies were said to have grown from the milk of Hera, the queen of the gods, symbolizing purity and fertility.

Cooking with Lilies

Yes its true you can eat some Lilies such as daylilies. (You can eat them but your cats can't! Lilies are very poisonous to cats so please keep your precious moggy away from lily flowers and plants) These beautiful flowers have transcended mere ornamental value, finding their way into various cultural practices and culinary traditions. In ancient Rome, lily bulbs were consumed as a delicacy, believed to have medicinal properties. Today, certain varieties of lilies still grace culinary creations, adding a touch of elegance to salads and desserts.

The Meanings of Lilies

Lilies have accrued a multitude of meanings over time, each one reflecting the flower's inherent grace and allure. One of the most common associations is purity and virtue. The Madonna Lily, with its snowy petals, has long symbolized the purity and chastity of the Virgin Mary in Christian art. Moreover, lilies have been emblematic of renewal and rejuvenation, tying into their historical connection with death and rebirth.
We often send lily bouquets for sympathy and condolences - for both the symbolism of the lilies and the long lasting flowers.

Different cultures have infused their own interpretations into the symbolism of lilies. In Chinese culture, the lily signifies abundance and a harmonious existence. The Japanese associate lilies with restored innocence after death, making them a staple at funerals. For some Native American tribes, lilies are linked to serenity and tranquility, often used in rituals to promote emotional balance.
You can read more about The Meaning of Flowers here.

lily images: Oriental lily, stargazer lilies, asiatic lilies, calla lilies, arum lilies.

Lily Varieties

The world of lilies is as diverse as it is captivating, encompassing a myriad of species and hybrids. From the elegant Calla Lily with its sleek curves and a range of beautiful colours. Pure white Oriental Lilies (often known as Casablanca lilies), to the vibrant Tiger Lily with its striking spots, each variety holds its own allure. Their distinctive forms and colors provide endless possibilities for floral arrangements and garden designs.
Of course to a florist one of the benefits of lilies is they are available almost all year round. You can check out our handy flower seasons chart here for more info.

Did you know?
Lily of the Valley is not a lily, but is actually part of the Asparagus family.

Cultivating Lilies

Lilies have been cherished by garden enthusiasts for generations. Their cultivation requires patience and care, as they thrive in well-drained soil and adequate sunlight. With a variety of species suited to different climates, lilies offer a versatile palette for gardeners to paint their outdoor canvases.

New Zealand Lilies

In the lush landscapes of New Zealand, a diverse array of lilies finds their home, adding vibrant hues to the country's natural beauty. Among the native New Zealand varieties that flourish in this Pacific paradise are the vibrant Kaka Beak Lily (Clianthus puniceus) with its distinctive red and orange flowers, and the Chatham Island Lily (Xeronema callistemon) boasting spiky crimson blooms. The native Rock Lily (Arthropodium) adorns the coastal cliffs with its graceful white flowers, while the Peruvian Lily (Alstroemeria) and Christmas Lily (Lilium longiflorum) represent introduced species that have found their niche in New Zealand's gardens.

These lilies, alongside others, paint a diverse and colorful tapestry across the New Zealand landscape, mirroring the country's unique flora and embracing the spirit of both native endemic flowers and introduced botanical blooms.

You will all know the common white arum lily - seen in many gardens around New Zealand - this has now been classified as a pest plant so please don't cultivate arum lilies.

Shop Lily Bouquets Auckland

At Best Blooms we get NZ grown lilies all year round, fresh from the flower market and local lily growers, including fragrant White Oriental Lilies, perfumed Pink lilies or bold & bright asiatic lilies.

A Lily Bouquet is always popular - many are perfumed, all are so eye catching, and best of all - Lilies are Super Long Lasting Flowers!

PLEASE NOTE: Your lily bouquet may be made up of a mixture of buds and open flowers, as we do believe in sending the freshest flowers we have available, to allow the recipient weeks of pleasure from your thoughtful gift.

Best Blooms Florist offers FREE Delivery of your Lily Bouquet to Auckland City & Suburbs.



Other Articles in our Flowers in Focus Series:

Best Blooms  |  10 August 2023, 02:55 PM

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