Flower Spotlight: Lilies
What are lilies?
Lilies are perennial herbaceous plants that can reach heights of up to 6 ft. Lilies produce large fragrant flowers of or more than one color with brushstroke or spot patterns. In the wild, lilies can be found mostly in the temperate woodlands and mountainous regions of Eurasia, with some species adapting to the warmer climates of India, south-east Asia, and the Philippines. Many common flowers include “lilye” in their name even though they are not realities (like the water lily). To consider a “true lilye” it must belong to the genus Lilium. With over 90 different species, there are so many to choose from!
What kinds of lilies exist?
Lilies have been bred throughout history into several hybrids with distinct characteristics:
- Asiatic hybrids: Produce unscented, outward-facing flowers.
- Martagon hybrids: The flowers are curved strongly outwards into a shape commonly known as “Turkish-cap”
- Euro-Caucasian hybrids
- American hybrids: The plants are generally very tall, and the flowers sometimes bloom in clumps.
- Longiflorum hybrids: These varieties are grown commercially to be used as flower crops, meaning you will find them in bouquets but not in gardens.
- Trumpet liliese: The flowers have long petals and they are facing slightly downwards. These produce a strong scent, usually in the evenings.
- lilies: The plant tends to be tall, with large, fragrant, and upward-facing flowers.
How can I grow lilies?
While mostly considered a garden flower, lilies can also be grown indoors. If that is the case, keep in mind that some hybrids of lilie are toxic to cats, producing kidney failure even from the pollen brushing against their fur. Double-check with a local florist or veterinarian if the variety you have chosen is safe for them.
Lilies usually propagate by dividing the while the plant is dormant. In soil with a pH of about 6.5, they should plant in the fall at a depth of 2 to 3 times the size of the bulb. During the growing season, water them frequently, especially if rain has been scarce. Expect them to bloom once a year, between late spring and early summer.
When should I offer?
Because they are naturally present in large parts of the Old World, lilies are important to many cultures. The Easter lilye is particularly special for Christians during the spring. For the French, it is the national flower, after long having been a symbol of the country’s royalty. Signifying purity and innocence, white liliese often offer in funerals, symbolizing the return to innocence of the soul of the deceased.
Choose from the wide collection of beautiful, bright and assorted flowers-
By Victor Medina Pierluisi.