Colours and shapes
Lilies offer a host of possibilities in terms of colour, shape and size. The flowers come in peaceful white and soft pink, but also in eye-catching red, yellow, purple and orange. Some have stripes, fringes or spots. The flowers can have a diameter ranging from 7 to 25 centimetres. Unusual double lilies don't have stamens.
Femininity: in Greek and Roman times brides were given a crown of lilies for a pure and fruitful life.
Love: in Victorian days receiving a sweet-scented lily meant "this is my beloved".
Purity: white lilies are often used at weddings as a symbol of virginity and purity.
Transience: the serene, pure appearance of the lily expresses feeling at times of loss and mourning.
You can find lilies growing wild in Korea, Japan and parts of Siberia, but also close to the equator in India. In Europe, the lily is native to the Caucasus, the Balkans, Greece, Poland, the Alps and Pyrenees. It also grows wild in most American states, with the exception of the south-west part of the United States.