The lily

The lily

I thought it was about time I wrote a blog post on one of this planet’s most famous & historic of all the flowers: The Lily.

There are many kinds of flowers which have been called “Lilies” but many of these so-called Lilies such as the day-lily, water-lily, calla lily and arum-lily, actually belong to other groups of flowering plants.

Plants in the Liliales grow from bulbs or corms, both of which will store food over the winter or during the dry season. 

True Lilies are composed of fleshy scales without a protective outer coating. 

The Lily symbolises purity and refined beauty and has been featuring in art and literature since time began. Their meaning changes often depending on who in history you are asking, where they come from and what situation they are in.

Dreaming of lilies is said to be dealing with the sanctity of the heart, elegance and a need for clarity or cleansing. If the dreamer is looking at a lily it is a message of encouragement. Dreaming of lilies could mean the time is right to act upon a long-thought upon plan. Further, it indicates that we are coming into a fuller integration of ourselves and developing personal balance. It is also a sign that we are seeking rest, peace and tranquillity.

Now, this is an interesting one… old wives’ tales suggest telling the sex of an unborn child by using a rose and a lily. I have never tried this but would love to hear from someone who is willing to try it out.

All you apparently need do is approach an expectant mother with a lily in one hand and a rose in the other. If the mother chooses the rose, it will be a girl. If she picks the lily, it will be a boy. The lily is supposed to have a masculine vibe about it due to the long central pistil as a masculine feature. Crazy.

Let’s talk about the difference between the lilies you see as cut flowers in homes around New Zealand. If you can learn these three different types you will seem like a real lily buff but it is really easy to learn.

  • The Asiatic lily comes in many different colours (white, cream, red, yellow, orange, variegated) has thick upright stems and deep green leaves close together all the way up the stem. They can often have 
  • The Oriental lily comes in white, yellow & pink and generally has a bigger head than the Asiatic lily, the leaves are more spaced out on the stem and they can be either upright or drooping which creates a cascading look from your vase.
  • The Longiflorum lily has a trumpet shaped flower and the buds protrude from the flower at more of angle than the other varieties. White waxy flowers. These are famously known as Christmas lilies at Christmas time in New Zealand.

I researched lilies whilst writing this blog and found out a little-known fact about the oil that is extracted from them. It apparently has wonderful healing and softening properties, which makes me like them even more than before. Especially, when the lily fragrance oil is mixed with that of calendula, it works wonderfully for very sensitive skin. The oils can be used from in the bath to baby massage and even as an under eye tonic.

To care for your cut lilies pull the stamens from them as they open & before they go fluffy. This will prevent your clothes & furniture from becoming stained and will also ensure a longer vase life for your flowers. The lily won’t need to put its energy into creating this pollen and can instead concentrate on sitting pretty.

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