“The modest Rose puts forth a thorn,
The humble sheet a threat’ning horn:
While the Lily white shall in love delight,
Nor a thorn nor a thread stain her beauty bright.”
Because of the sweet and innocent beauty of the Lily flower, an influential Romantic poet named William Blake has dedicated a poem titled ‘The Lily’. Lily flowers are one of the prettiest and most popular types of flowers. They are popular since Ancient Greece and have continued to bloom in North America, Asia, Australia, and Europe until now. The lovely bulb has a variety of colors and is often used for many purposes and events; as a gift for loved ones, to express sympathy towards bereaved colleagues, or as a form of prayer for those closest to you they can recover quickly from illness. The name of this flower is also very popular to be used for girls’ names around the world.
Thanks to its fragrant aroma and beautiful color, the lily flower is also called the ‘Queen of the Garden’ by plant lovers. The white Lily flower is a symbol of the World Scout Organization in the World Organization of Scout Movement, using the image that consists of ‘fleur-de-lis’ or a lily with three points and a compass, two stars, and dead knotted rope with purple background.
To be dubbed as the queen of the garden, the Lily flower must have quite a long history and symbol of its beauty. We will take you through the history of this beautiful flower and the various meanings according to its colors in this article below.
The history of the Lily flower
Ever since 1580 BC, the picture of lily flowers was found in Kret inside a villa. They have a long history in mythology too, deriving from the Greek word ‘Leiron’. It begins from the mythology when Zeus fell in love with Alceme, a normal Earth woman. Alceme later gave birth to Hercules. Zeus took his son, Hercules, to heaven to be breastfed by Hera, Zeus’ wife. His wife is sedated to sleep for her to breastfed Hercules without her conscience, but soon the drug’s effect runs out, and Hera accidentally threw Hercules to the Earth, making her milk gushed up to the sky and Earth. The milk that gushed to the Earth turned into a lily flower.
It was also said that name ‘Lily’ came from the Old English ‘lilies, from the Latin ‘Lilium,’ or the Hebrew word ‘Shoshannah’ from Egyptian. From back then, there are already 80-100 species that grown natively worldwide and grew in grasslands, mountains, and marshes. But now, they can be grown from the bulb in the pot or your garden.
Back in the Victorian Era, a remarkable European explorer named Augustine Henry has ever found lilies that he was so captivated and dedicated his expedition to look for more types of lilies. The Tiger Lily or also called Henry’s Lily, is the flower named in his honor. This flower is also deemed fit for royalty during Victorian times.
The symbolism of the Lily flower
Lily flower’s most common meaning is devotion, purity, and fertility, but several cultures around the world and the various colors have different meanings. For example, because of the Greek myth mentioned above, this flower is associated with rebirth and motherhood. While in China, these beautiful blooms are used in weddings, symboling 100 years of love and tied to good luck. Assyrians and Babylonians are associated with the goddess of fertility, Ishtar. Christians associated while lily with the Virgin Mary. The Egyptians also believed that the lily flower was sacred and Romans used lily flowers to fill their pillows. The lily is also called the 30th-anniversary flower.
Various colors of Lily and its meaning
Lily flowers are grown in many colors, from rebirth, femininity, and many others according to their colors.
- The white lily symbolizes rebirth, purity, and commitment. It is often used for weddings and funerals, and they are chosen as Sympathy Flowers.
- Pink lily symbolize love, admiration, and femininity. It can be a perfect gift for female friends and to those friends who need a little confidence boost.
- Red lily symbolize love and passion, thanks to its bright and fiery color. It can be used as a substitute for a red rose in a romantic bouquet gift.
- Orange lily or Tiger lily symbolizes wealth, confidence, and energy. It can be used as a gift of positivity and warmth towards your beloved ones.
- Yellow lily symbolizes joy, friendship, and thankfulness. It is a great gift as a ‘thank you’ flower and their sunny color has been proven to awaken the feeling of happiness that will surely put up a smile on your beloved one’s faces.
- Purple lily symbolizes pride, success, dignity, admiration, and accomplishment. They are associated with royalty and regarded as being exclusive and quite rare.
The benefits of Lily flower
The lily flower can treat stomach issues, fever, and help women during labor using the lily roots or bulbs. The roots or bulbs can be boiled into a tea. This beautiful flower can also be added to wine to help stimulate memory and focus. They are also magically able to treat skin ulcers, inflammation, burns, and rashes. The roots can be used as an ointment to prevent scar tissue formation by applying the ointment directly to the burned spot.
Dried lilies also contain large amounts of fiber, sodium, and carbohydrates. The bulbs also have the essential proteins, starch, and small amounts of calcium, phosphorous, iron, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, and vitamin C. Meanwhile, the tiger lily is also famous for treating coughs, sore throats, chest pains, and anti-inflammatory and diuretic properties.
Besides medicinal purposes, the lily flower can also be used as a cooking ingredient. They can be boiled, baked, roasted, or used as a thickening agent in soup. Because of their fragrance, they are commonly used in perfumes.