Exploring the Colourful Meanings That Make Lilies an Exotic Flower

by Robert Canning on July 16, 2021

Beautifully distinct, pure, and one of the world’s perennial favourite flowers, lilies are a stunning species brimming with hidden symbolism. Different types like daylilies, calla lilies, and water lilies may have nuances in their meanings, but generally, lily flowers encapsulate femininity, love, purity, and grief.

These symbolisms are common everywhere and often fuel people to buy a bouquet of lilies depending on the mood or occasion, but what features inspired the overarching theme for lilies? Is there an origin story for these representations and cultural significance? We’re here to find out below!

A Fragrant and Feminine Touch

Lilies have delicate features with blushing tinges of pink, gold, red, orange, or white petals, while the trumpet-shaped petals sit on a narrow stem that appears in shades of green, red, or even purple.

The soft characteristics and sweet fragrance of the lilies give it a feminine nature, which is why it symbolizes womanhood in Ancient Egypt a hundred years back. You’ll see Greek and Roman brides welcome marriage with a garland of lilies laced in their hair, representing beauty, grace, and the promise of a pure life.

A Mood-Boosting Aroma as a Lovely Muse

Roses may be the universal symbol of love, but the Victorians think lilies deserve the title thanks to their saccharine aroma. The Victorian era was known for using flowers to express their emotions during a time when public displays of affection were frowned upon.

With that in mind, lilies were used to fluff up pillows, quilts, and other bedding in preparation for an intimate, love-making. The sugar scent acts as an aphrodisiac and permeates the air with romance, that’s why receiving lilies in the Victorian era means it’s a declaration of love, lust, or admiration.

Simple and Pure

Lilies often symbolize purity and virginity throughout different cultures despite their distinct origins. China believes that lilies represent 100 years of love, which is why it’s a must for wedding celebrations. Meanwhile, Greek stories say that lilies represent Hera and Zeus, that’s why they can also represent rebirth and motherhood.

As for religious narratives, white lilies are also known as the Madonna Lily, so you’ll find paintings of lilies in depictions of the Virgin Mary in many churches.

The Bottom Line: Giving Lilies to Show Your Pure Love and Admiration for the Feminine Soul

If you want to show your appreciation to your mother, sister, friend, or significant other, giving a bouquet of lilies can empower their femininity and show your admiration for women. Sweet, beautiful, and full of life, lilies are the perfect gift to boost confidence, celebrate achievements, and give thanks.

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