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Most notable for the large prominent flowers, lilies are a genus of herbaceous flowering plants that grow from bulbs. Though there are some flowers that have ‘lily’ in the name they are not considered members of the lilium family, for example Lily of the Valley, and Tiger Lily (alstroemeria). Each lily flowers consists of six tepals. A tepal is a fused sepal and petal, and the nectar is produced at the base of each leaf.

Pink lilies in the vase

Lilies are found mostly in the northern hemisphere, Europe, Asia and North America, growing in temperate and tropical areas though the preferred habitats are forests, grasslands, marshes and mountains.

The versatility of the lily has secured its place as a favourite flower for many people and can be found in abundance in almost any flower shop and included beautifully in any sort of arrangement. From a traditional bouquet in pure colours, to a contemporary container arrangement in vibrant colours, the lily sits right at home, providing it’s unmistakable scent and filling any room with a fragrance instantly recognisable.

Although the life is typically shorter than that of flowers such as the chrysanthemum and the alstroemeria, by removing the stamen from the flower the life will be prolonged and staining of the tepals will be prevented. Remember also to check the water from time to time, ensuring it is fresh and the stems are cut when necessary.

If you are a cat person, take care with your lilies and ensure they are out of reach or stored somewhere away from cats as ingestion of the tepals, stamen or any part is incredibly toxic to cats.  

Lilies come in a beautiful selection of colours, though the tulip has a much wider range of colours, the lily is known for its classic colours, but do you know what the flowers you are sending say?

  • White – purity, sympathy, modesty – like many white flowers this purest colour often carries a sympathetic meaning and tells the recipient you are thinking of them at this time.
  • Orange – considered one of the rarer colours, this variety symbolises passion, devotion and loyal friendship.
  • Pink – implies grace, innocence and happiness. It’s easy to see why then these beautiful stems bring such colour, joy and scent to any room in the house.