There are so many colorful, vibrant, unique, and awesome lilies – over 100 species! – that a category system had to be developed to sort them all. This resulted in 9 classes of lilies with the most similar characteristics. We’re talking about “true lilies” here, which means they all belong to the genus of Lilium, which are flowering plants. True lilies are easily recognizable because they all have 6 petals and 6 anthers (the oval sacks that hold the pollen). Prepare to be amazed at the incredible diversity and striking beauty of all the lilies types!
A common story of the origin of the lily dates back to Greek mythology, where the Goddess Hera created lilies on Earth when she spilled a few drops of her breast milk. Since Hera is the Goddess of marriage, women, and childbirth, the lily is often associated with rebirth and motherhood. In China, the lily is a popular flower in weddings because it symbolizes good luck and 100 years of love. In Christianity, the lily, especially the Madonna lily, is associated with the Virgin Mary and represents purity and chastity.
Other meanings associated with the lily are based on its color:
- White lilies denote purity, virtue, and innocence.
- Pink lilies denote abundance and prosperity.
- Red lilies denote love and passion
- Orange lilies denote confidence, wealth, and pride
- Yellow lilies denote joy, thankfulness, and good health
The overall meaning associated with the lily flower is purity, grace, fertility, and rebirth. The lily has a certain regal-ness and purity which makes it a common feature in important ceremonies such as weddings, celebrations, and coronations.
Lily Classifications & Examples
Pink Pixie Lilies
Division 1: Asiatic Hybrid – Most popular type of lilies in the world. Come in almost every color but have little to no scent. (Ex: Tango, Forever Susan, Pink Pixie, Elodie, Lollipop)
Turk’s Cap Lily
Division 2: Martagon Hybrid – Dramatic, vibrant, dainty downward-facing blossoms. (Ex. Turk’s Cap)
Division 3: Candidum Hybrid – Lovely fragrance, large blooms. (Ex. Madonna Lily)
Division 4: American Hybrid – Includes hybrids of wild lilies in North America. (Ex. Tiger Lily)
Division 5: Longiflorum Hybrid – Elegant, trumpet-shaped. (Ex. Easter Lily)
African Queen Lily
Division 6: Trumpet and Aurelian Hybrids – Large, trumpet-shaped blooms with a sweet fragrance. (Ex. African Queen)
Division 7: Oriental Hybrid – Large, upright flowers, great scents. (Ex. Stargazer, Acapulco Lily)
Orange LA Hybrid Lily
Division 8: Interdivisional Hybrids – These are hybrids of the previous seven divisions.
Wild Yellow and Red Lily
Division 9: Species – The pure, wild “parents” of the previous 8 hybrids.
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Lilies have made such an impact on many different cultures because of their diversity and beauty. There is nothing quite like the lily flower with all of its grandness, vibrancy, unique shapes, and amazing fragrance. Now that you are more familiar with the lily classes, delving more into each of them is truly enjoying. You will no doubt find the perfect type of lily for everyone you know. When you do, Durocher Florist has a wonderful selection of bouquets featuring lilies and other gorgeous blooms. Peruse them online here or give us a call!