The lily is a flower that is mentioned both in the Christian Bible and the Jewish Torah. For instance, in the commentary on the Song of Solomon, Jewish scholar Ibn Ezra describes the lily as, “a white flower of sweet but narcotic perfume, it has… in every case, six petals, within which are six long filaments.” The mystical Jewish Zohar text describes the thirteen leaves of the lily as corresponding to the thirteen attributes of God. In fact, it seems that the lily is considered “the chief of flowers” in the way it’s illustrated on ancient coins.
Descriptions of the lily also appear in the Christina Bible. In Matthew 6:28, lilies of the field are mentioned. Additionally, according to Learn The Bible, early paintings show the Angel Gabriel gifting an arrangement of white lilies to the Virgin Mary. Other paintings show saints offering lilies to both Mary and baby Jesus. Lilies have been interpreted as representing the purity of Mary, while the golden centers are said to symbolize the holiness of her soul.
Even if you don’t subscribe to any religion, the mention of the lily in these ancient texts just goes to show that the beautiful flower has held significance for a number of years. In more modern times, the native Japanese Easter lily was first introduced to the United States in 1903, and remains a popular plant today.
In addition to their religious significance, according to Teleflora, lilies represent humility and devotion. Perhaps due to their delicate color, white lilies are also associated with sympathy and the restoration of innocence. All in all, lilies symbolize purity, be it religious or general.
There is also Greek mythology behind the lily. The great Greek god Zeus wanted his mortal son Hercules to have the powers of a god. He drugged his goddess wife Hera so that she’d allow the boy to nurse from her. However, when Hera awoke out of her daze, she angrily pushed Hercules from her breast. In the chaos, a single drop of milk fell to the earth, creating the creamy lily.
Caring for your lilies
Lilies are easy to care for and, if tended to properly, can last up to a few weeks. Under water, trim the stems of your lilies at a 45 degree angle. Snip away any leaves that may be submerged underwater when you places your lilies in a vase. Fill a clean vase with water, then mix the water with your BloomsyBox flower feed. When your lilies bloom, you can cut away the “antlers” (the reddish brown pollen pods in the center of the lilies). This pollen can stain, so if you find any of it falling, simply brush it away.
Remember: change the water your lilies sit in every two days. You can also trim leaves and wilted blooms of longer vase life. Lilies do best when they’re kept out of direct sunlight, so a good spot for lilies won’t be right by a windowsill. However, lilies can go just about any other place in your home. Enjoy!