What Is A Lily Flower

Flower Guru
what is a lily flower

Overview of Gorgeous Lilies

Dive into the world of the enchanting lily, a flower that captivates with its trumpet-shaped blooms and vibrant colours! From the popular Oriental and Asiatic lilies varieties to the symbolism they carry, lilies are a treasure trove of beauty and meaning, ranking fourth in floral popularity worldwide. But beware, cat lovers – this beauty has a toxic side!

Most lilies live only one to two weeks with their flowers blooming at frequent times. Colours consist of white, pink, orange, red and yellow.

Be aware, cat lovers, the lily is considered to be highly toxic to your loving pet!

Notwithstanding this toxic effect to cats, the lily is becoming exceedingly popular as a floral gift, and ranks fourth in popularity around the world. The flower comes in different shapes, sizes and colours, and brings fragrance and beauty to your friends, loved ones, and in your garden.

Growing Conditions and Characteristics

If deciding to grow the lily, you need to choose a well-drained location in your garden, achieving a good half day of sunshine. You will notice if your setting is too shady, as the stems of the lily will lean over and stretch towards the sun. The most shade sensitive of the lilies is the trumpet lily, though most love the full sun as long as the bulbs are deep enough to keep cool during high temperatures.

Symbolism and Popular Varieties

The lily flower embodies refined beauty, purity, and based on the type or colour, the lily flower can express different meanings as follows:

  • Easter lily is a symbol of the Virgin Mary
  • Lily of the valley denotes sweetness and purity of heart
  • Orange lily shows passion
  • Yellow lily signifies cheerfulness
  • White lily indicates virginity and modesty
  • Gymea lily is a truly iconic plant of the Australian bush and is indigenous to the Sydney Basin.

Because of their colour and beauty, among lily bouquets, comes the Casablanca and Stargazer, being the most sought-after of the floral bouquets.

True Lilies vs. So-Called Lilies

Although many varieties of flowers have been called “lilies”, many of these so-called lilies actually belong to other groups of flowering plants. These include the arum lily, water lily and the day lily. The true lily is composed of fleshy scales without a protective outer coating, and they are never dormant.

While the term lily is used in many different ways by those who are not acquainted with the diverse kinds of species, it is in fact correct that some lilies have a slight resemblance to one another, although not totally. This is confusing no doubt, but once you appreciate how the lily families vary, you will know better as you unscramble their classes.

Classifying Lilies: Understanding the Species

Lilies that fall under the species Lilium, are characterised with an L. or the word Lilium, before its scientific name. For example: L. longiflorum, or Lilium longiflorum. Using an alphabetical image prior to the name of the scientific flower is what helps scholars set them apart. For a lily that doesn't belong to the Lilium species, another alphabet is set in its place, example: H. coccinea (river lily), or hesperantha (genus) coccinea.

Most Popular Lily Flowers

The most popular lily flowers are the calla lily, tiger lily, peace lily, stargazer lily and the Easter lily. Oriental lilies come in beautiful pure white and exquisitely fragrant Casablanca lilies complementing the rosy red, white petal edges stargazer lilies. 

Lilies, with their vibrant colours and refined beauty, hold a special place in the world of flora. Whether you're growing them in your garden, gifting a bouquet, or exploring their varied symbolism, these flowers are a delight to behold. Understanding the different species and their unique characteristics enriches our appreciation for this charming bloom, making every encounter with a lily a more meaningful one.