Lilies are a diverse group of vibrantly-colored flowers with large blooms and wonderful scents. With over 90 types of species, though, it can be difficult to keep track of all the different types, which is why a classification system was created to organize the many varieties of lilies. All true lilies have certain characteristics, though, which are six petals and six stamens. After that, color, shape, size, scent, and pattern are immensely varied.
A popular story of the origin of the lily dates back to Greek mythology, where the Goddess Hera created lilies on Earth when she spilled a few drops of her breast milk. Since Hera is the Goddess of marriage, women, and childbirth, the lily is often associated with rebirth and motherhood. In China, lilies are a popular flower in weddings because it symbolizes good luck and 100 years of love. In Christianity, lilies, especially the Madonna lily, is associated with the Virgin Mary and represent purity and chastity.
Other meanings are often related to the color of the lily, as follows:
- White lilies represent purity, virtue, and innocence.
- Pink lilies represent abundance and prosperity.
- Red lilies represent love and passion
- Orange lilies represent confident, wealth, and pride
- Yellow lilies represent joy, thankfulness, and good health
Basic Lily Facts
There are flowers that have a lily name, such as Calla lily, Daylily, or Water lily, but these are not “true lilies.” Only lilies which are part of the genus Lilium are known as true lilies and they are easily identifiable as they all have six petals and six anthers, which is the part that contains pollen. Lilies typically have large blooms and come in a wide range of nearly every color. Some lilies are extremely fragrant, while others have no scent at all.
Lilies have been revered in many cultures throughout history and is often associated with royalty. Other common meanings attributed to the lily is purity, grace, fertility, and rebirth. Lilies have a certain regal-ness and purity about them which makes them a common feature in important ceremonies such as weddings, celebrations, and coronations.
Lily Classifications & Examples
Pink Pixie Lilies
Division 1: Asiatic Hybrid – Most popular lilies in the world. Come in almost every color but have little to no scent. Attractive and long-lasting. (Tango, Forever Susan, Orange Pixie Lily, Elodie Lily, Lollipop)
Turk’s Cap Lily
Division 2: Martagon Hybrid – Dramatic, visually interesting, producing many small dainty downward-facing blossoms. Flowers can be numerous 40-50 per stem and strikingly colored. (Turk’s Cap)
Division 3: Candidum Hybrid – famous for the Madonna lily that has a lovely fragrance white flowers and a yellow base. Up to 20 blossoms per stem. (Madonna)
Division 4: American Hybrid – Includes hybrids of wild lilies in North America. (Tiger Lily)
Division 5: Longiflorum Hybrid – Easter lily and hybrids are with elegant pure white and trumpet-shaped. Bloom during Easter. (Easter Lily)
African Queen Lily
Division 6: Trumpet and Aurelian Hybrids – Tall and elegant with fragrant flowers with stunning trumpet-shaped flowers. Popular Cut Flowers, lush, large trumpet-shaped flowers and heady sweet fragrance. (African Queen)
Division 7: Oriental Hybrid – Known for large, robust, upright flowers. Flowers that fall in this class have large blooms and great scents. Strong, enchanting fragrance. (Stargazer, Casablanca, Acapulco Lily)
Orange LA Hybrid Lily
Division 8: Interdivisional Hybrids – hybrids of the previous seven divisions.
Wild Yellow and Red Lily
Division 9: Species – pure, wild “parents” of the previous 8 hybrids. Wild lilies that are the ancestors to all of the other classes.Natural and delicate beauty. Charming.
WILD ABOUT YOU
A Pure, Lovely Flower
Lilies have made an impact on many different cultures because of its diversity and beauty. There is nothing quite like the lily flower with all of its grandness, vibrancy, unique shapes, and amazing fragrance. Not that you are more familiar with the different types of lilies, you’ll have no trouble finding one which is perfect for the special people in your life, or for yourself. Carither’s Flowers has a wonderful selection of bouquets featuring lilies, peruse them online here or give us a call!