The lily is a kind of flower that can be used in many ways. It is a wonderful flower for arranging in a vase at home, but it also makes a perfect choice for weddings, special events and other occasions.
The lily is one of the oldest bulb plants known to man. It was found in ancient writings and pictures dating from 2000 to 1500 years before the Christian era. Many meanings have been attributed to the lily down through the years. Although the symbolic meaning of flowers sometimes changes, giving them always mean that we have something to say. The lily always conveys a special message.
Lilies can vary substantially in colour and shape. The size of their flowers, for example, ranges from 7 cm to no less than 25 cm across. Some lilies face outward and are slightly pendulous, some have recurved petals, and their flowers can be trumpet-, bowl- or star-shaped.
Lilies are classified into the following groups:
These trumpet-shaped flowers can reach a diameter of 15 cm, and the plants can actually grow to a height of three metres. Each stem bears four to eight flowers that can be white, yellow, pink, red or orange. Their rather sparse leaves are a deep green. Lilies in this group have no fragrance.
Not surprisingly, these flowers are favourites for weddings. Their large flowers are available in gorgeous colours. LA Hybrids are known for their thick stems and lush foliage; their flowers are more upright than those of the Orientals. These flowers are also beautiful as a focal point in the middle of a bouquet.
These oriental lilies are popular because of their many different fragrances and the size of their flowers. They are available in a wide range of colours such as white and pink. As soon as the flower opens, the silk-like petals reveal streaks of another colour or tiny brown speckles here and there that make a pretty contrast to the main colour of the flower. Oriental lilies are often even larger than the ones in the Asiatic group.
The lilies in the most newly developed group are known as Orienpets or OT hybrids. These interspecific hybrids – the result of crossing Oriental with Asiatic lilies – are characterised by their breathtaking flowers. The colour range of OT hybrids is growing year by year.
These are often called Easter lilies or November lilies. This lily can reach a height of 1 metre and is characterised by its white, fragrant, trumpet-shaped flowers that face outward from the stem.
Caring for the flowers
Trim the stem at an angle and place it in a clean vase; change the water once every three days. Each time you change the water, trim the stem again. When the vase is placed in a cooler location, the flowers will remain attractive even longer.