Many Lily varieties originally come from Japan, China and Korea. The Lilies that you now find at the florist are hybrids of different varieties. Although Lilies are often white, there is also a red Lily. These days there are even Lilies in all kinds of pretty pastel tints.

The lily is a bulb crop which can be used on many occasions. The range is constantly developing with new groups. In the past we were mainly familiar with the Asiatic group with vivid flower colours, a large number of buds and flowers, smaller flowers, more delicate foliage and stamens which shed.

The Oriental group has the most colours in pink and white or bicoloured, has larger buds and flowers, coarser foliage, heavier stems and is strongly scented.

The most traditional group is the Lilium Longiflorum group with coarser foliage and a trumpet-shaped flower. Most cultivars are white, but there are also red and white cultivars. Longiflorum, which means ‘with long flowers’, has a light scent. The LA group was created by crossing two different groups. This group has pale pastel shades, a more compact branch structure, coarser foliage and stamens which shed.

The lily is a symbol of innocence, mortality, royalty and unity. The Romans and Greeks crowned brides with lilies for a pure and fruitful life. In Christianity lilies symbolised pure virginal love and innocence.  Archangel Gabriel and the parents of Mary are often depicted with a lily in their hand. Luckily the lily is also used nowadays in innovative and challenging ways. 

  •   Properties
    Scientific name
    Japan, China, Korea
    Unity, Regality, Innocence, Transience
    Shelf life
    Lilies will last for between 7 and 14 days (depending on country of sale, shipping and storage time, the provision of cut flower food, freshness and conditions at the consumer).
    Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  •   Care tips florists
    • Lilies can be stored dry in the cold store at 2 to 5 °C.
    • Place the lilies in clean buckets or vases with clean water.
    • A preservative (preferably specially intended for bulb flowers) will ensure that the flowers open nicely, the foliage does not yellow and the water is not contaminated by bacteria.
    • Cut 3 to 5 cm off the stems with a sharp knife or secateurs and remove the bottom leaves. Ensure that there are no leaves in the water, particularly not when combining with other flowers.
    • A preservative will ensure that the flowers open nicely, the foliage does not yellow and the water is not contaminated by bacteria.
    • The lilies will open nicely at a higher temperature, provided that they were not too under-ripened when bought, particularly in the winter months.
    • When creating arrangements and bouquets it is important to take account of the opening flowers and the stamens in them which could shed. To prevent this the stamens can be removed or carefully sprayed with spray glue so that they cannot shed.
    • When producing table decorations for dinners and buffets it is important to take account of the strong scent of some cultivars; this can affect the taste of the food.
    • However ensure that the flowers cannot become damp as a result of excessive humidity or condensation in the cellophane.
  •   Care tips consumers
    • Cut a piece off the bottom of the lilies’ stem and place them in cold water.
    • Thereby use cut flower food. There is a special bulb flower preservative for Lilium and Alstroemeria. This ensures that both foliage and flower last longer.
    • The vase needs to be topped up regularly.
    • The best position for lilies is a cool spot. The flowers will finish flowering faster in a warm room, next to heat sources or in direct sunlight.
    • Lilies should not be placed next to fruit because of the ethylene gas.
    • The pollen from the stamens can cause annoying marks on clothing.