LILIES – Symbolize purity and refined beauty.
Birth Month: May 


When we say Lily we can also be talking about a human name, however, in flowers, we know the Lily as a beautiful herbaceous flowering plant, normally grown from bulbs.

The Lily’s name has pre-classical origins; indeed it was the Greek name leirion and the Roman name Lilium from which the name “Lily” was derived.

As a cut flower, Lilies are simply wonderful. There are more than 110 species in the Lily Family. If you are looking for large flowers, then Lilies are what you are looking for. You will find them with six petals, often fragrant, with a range of colors like white, yellow, orange, pink, red and purple.

The five main groups of Lilies are Asiatic, Oriental, OT, LO and LA Hybrids. Although the Asiatic and Oriental are the best known, there have been many hybrids entering the market within the past few years.

The OT hybrid is a cross between the Oriental and Trumpet Lily; it can also be referred to as an Orientpet. The OT hybrid has a fragrant flower.

The LA Hybrid, which is a cross between the L.longiflorum (Easter Lily) and Asiatic, is a better choice for those who are sensitive to strong scents. The LA Hybrid has a larger flower size than the Asiatic and the flowers are more clustered to the top of the stem and are more upward facing than the Oriental.

The LO hybrid is a cross between the L.longiflorum (Easter Lily) and Oriental Lily. They are the newest addition and provide unique flower shapes, sizes and colors.

Asiatic Lilies: Lilium Hybridum

The eAsiatic Lilieslegant, six-petaled blooms of Asiatic lilies are cup-shaped with recurved tips, and are usually upright on the stem. Blooms vary in size from 2″ to 4″ and include a wide range of both solids and bi-colors with flecks of brush mark coloration in the throat. They have a wider range of available colors which include white, yellow, orange, pink, peach, burgundy to red & of course the bi-colors.

Asiatic Lilies are unscented and suitable for arrangements for those who are sensitive to strong fragrances. Stem lengths are in the range of 40 cm to 130 cm. Among the most popular varieties are “Connecticut King” and “Enchantment”.

Oriental Lilies: Lilium SpeciosiumOriental Lilies

These are based on hybrids of L. auratum and L. speciosum, together with crossbreeds from several mainland Asiatic species. Their parents originate in Asia or Japan. Oriental lilies are the largest of the lily family. Ranging between 6″-10″ in diameter. Also cup-shaped with re-curved petals, the fragrant blooms hang to the side of stem (pendant) rather than upright.

The orientals come in a smaller color from pristine white (“Casablanca”) to a rosy-hued, bi-color pink (“Star Gazer”). The stems are generally taller than the asiatics with stem lengths 60 cm or more.

The average vase life of a stem of lilies is 10-14 days. (Individual blooms generally last 4-5 days and should be removed when they are no longer attractive.)

LA Hybrid LiliesLA Hybrid Lily

LA Hybrid Lilies were introduced in 1992 and the LA is not for the city of Los Angeles, but for the way they were created.  The LA Lilies were created by crossing Longiflorums (L) with the Asiatic (A). These Lilies have larger buds than the Asiatic and can be recognized by their dense clusters.

New and improved colors are always coming onto the flower markets. LA Lilies generally do not have any fragrance.

The Longiflorum traits produce more of a trumpet shape and provide a longer vase life. The Asiatic traits are responsible for the warmer flower colors and the upright calyx, which causes the flower heads to face upward.

Easter Lilies

Easter LiliesEveryone loves these magnetic and beautiful flowers of springtime. The name, Lily, is originated from the Latin name, ‘Lilium longiforu’, a plant native to the southern Ryukyu Islands of Japan.

Throughout the ages, Easter Lilies have symbolized purity, beauty, and the promise of life everlasting. It is also referenced in many biblical stories and often called the “white-robed apostles of hope,” these fragrant flowers reflect the deep meaning of the Resurrection.

When Eve was banished from the Garden of Eden, she shed tears of repentance and from her tears sprang Lilies.

The pure white Easter Lily is also associated with motherhood. In early biblical paintings, the angel Gabriel is pictured extending a bunch of white Lilies to the Virgin Mary announcing she was to be the mother of Jesus Christ. The Lily is also revered as it was found growing in the garden of Gethsemane after Christ’s agony.

Renowned as a mark of purity and grace, the Easter Lily is the perfect symbol to represent Easter.
The Easter Lily was imported to the U.S. in 1875 by a tourist who visited Japan. The Lily grew in popularity, and by 1941 North American residents were importing Lily bulbs in great quantities.

World War II ended the dependence on Japanese-produced bulbs. Commercial production then shifted to the United States.

Trumpet Lilies   

Trumpet LiliesThe introduction of the Regale Lily from China in the early 20th century gave rise to these popular Chinese Trumpet Lilies, also known as Aurelian Hybrid Lilies.  This group includes hybrids of many Asiatic species, including L. regale and L. aurelianse.

The flowers are trumpet shaped, facing outward or somewhat downward, and tend to be strongly fragrant, often especially night-fragrant.

Oriental Trumpet Lilies come in a variety of colors and would make a stunning addition to any bouquet, centerpiece or wedding flower arrangement.

Asiatic Lily Hybrid Tango

Asiatic Lily Hybrid TangoVery recently, a whole new race of Lilies has been introduced. They are Asiatic Hybrids, so their strong stems are shorter than the Orientals, but they’re different from the old Asiatic Hybrids we all know. These new ones (called “Tango Lily” in Holland) have larger flowers than the older Asiatic, and best of all, a whole new look.

In 1989, Piet Schenk, a Dutch Lily Hybridizer, bought pollen from Mr. Orekhof of Latvia, who introduced the first ‘Tango Lily’. In honor of Mr. Orekhof, all new Lilies in this series get the name Tango. These wonderful new hybrid Lilies take the popular Asiatic varieties to new heights. The flowers are enormous and vibrantly colored with each variety lavishly speckled in unique formations.

This exciting new introduction of Asiatic hybrid Lilies is creating quite a buzz with their vibrant colors and trademark pixels that sets them apart from traditional Lilies. Never before have Lilies possessed such contrasting, spotted colors. Long lasting blooms are a large 10-13cm and carry a slight fragrance. They make spectacular cut flower bouquets.

Lilies are available year-round from Central and South America.


 Care & Handling:

  • Cut 1″ from stem ends with sharp knife or flower cutters and place in preservative solution made with cool water.   
  • To enhance bud development, place stems in preservative solution made with warm water (100°- 110°F). Important: Use the recommended concentration of preservative to insure bud opening. 
  • Remove stamens as buds open to prevent accidental staining. If you get lily pollen on your clothing use a dry toothbrush, chenille stem or dry towel to brush off.
  • Do not brush off with your hands (rubs pollen deeper into fabric). Lilies are ethylene sensitive.
  • Keep away from all external sources of ethylene, such as fruit, carbon monoxide and decaying plant material.


Design Suggestions:

  • These special flowers will draw attention in any design.
  • Use as a feature flower or as a focal point of the arrangement
  • Achieve a “beautiful garden” look by mixing with stock and/or tulips.

Make a dramatic statement with a simple design of a few stems in a glass vase. 


Cat owners need to be aware that these plants are very dangerous; it can be deadly for their cat to come into contact with any part of the plant. View Flowers and Pets for more information.