More Than Ornaments: 5 Things to Learn About Oriental Lilies

by Robert Canning on April 29, 2022

Lilies are perennial flowers with almost 80 to 100 species of herbaceous flowering plants from the Liliaceae family. Native to the cold areas of the Northern Hemisphere, they are ornamental plants that often end up as ideal displays in a home. However, among the two forms of true lilies, the Oriental type stays dominant over the Asiatic. But why is it preferred more than the other? Here are some ideas.

1. Bears a Classic Appearance

The Oriental lily is native to Siberia, Korea, China, and Japan. On the other hand, the Asiatic ones are native to the warm climates of India, Korea, China, and Japan. They are both found in North America and Europe. However, the Asiatic lily is more common than its Oriental counterpart in the U.S. It is even sold as a “spring-blooming bulb” in nurseries. It blooms in the spring. Since it is more common, it is often chosen for use as an ornamental plant.

2. Plays a Significant Role in History

The Oriental lily is often used as a good luck charm. It is also used as a symbol of the world in general. It is the symbol of Chinese New Year and the Japanese culture where it is known as Manitoba, which means “flower bouquet.” It is also an essential flower in the religious rites of Taoism. It was first used in a ritual during the Tang Dynasty. It was considered an imperial flower. It is also used in the traditional wedding ceremony in Korea, where the groom gives the bride a bouquet of lilies.

3. Comes From the Greek Word 'Leiron'

Though the word lily is thought to have originated from the Greek word leiron, it is also believed to have been derived from the Latin word Lilium. In the Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer uses the word lily about a man who is proud of his virginity. The Bible also uses the word lily to refer to a real lily. The Song of Solomon is used to describe a beautiful woman.

4. Unavailable Commercially

Oriental lilies are only grown commercially in Japan as a small number of farmers plant them. Asiatic lilies can be found on a larger scale. If a home gardener wants to grow Oriental lilies, it is recommended that he buy a bulb and plant it because Oriental lilies are considered a rarity for commercial use. But in the case of the Asiatic lily, it is the leading choice among the two. It can be bought in most nurseries and is also readily available online.

5. Symbolizes Beauty and Purity

The Oriental lily is a popular flower in poetry and literature. It is often used as a symbol of beauty and purity. The French poet Charles Baudelaire used the lily to describe the beauty of a woman later on in the poem “Au Balcon”. It is also one of the flowers offered to the Virgin Mary. The lily is also an ancient symbol of purity and innocence. In Christianity, it is a symbol of the Virgin Mary and her purity. In the legend of the Persian poet Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh, the hero, Rostam, kills the evil king Zahhak with a lily.

Conclusion 

The Oriental lily and the Asiatic lily have a lot of differences, but there are also some similarities. They both are lily family members and are native to the Northern Hemisphere. They are known for their beauty, but the Asiatic lily is more common than the Oriental lily.

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