The world loves lilies! Their beauty, fragrance, and fascinating culture make them highly treasured. Their story began 5,000 years ago. They were found recorded on an ancient tablet in Sumeria, and the rest is history! Many cultures have found plenty of alternative uses for them throughout the ages, adding to the long list of reasons to admire lilies!
The Greek god Zeus first dedicated the lily to his wife, Hera. Mythology says that when Zeus and mortal Alceme created Hercules, Zeus wanted his son to partake in a divine life and took the baby to Hera. Zeus drugged Hera and once she fell asleep, placed Hercules at her breast while he nursed. Hera awoke startled and threw the baby, spilling her milk across the heavens and forming the milky way. As those drops trickled down to earth, the first lilies grew.
Roman legend instead claims that Venus, the goddess of beauty, rose from the sea foam and saw a lily. The whiteness and purity of the lily flower was enough to make Venus envious, so she caused a large pistil to sprout from the flower’s center.
In the 1500’s, lilies were first used for medicinal purposes. This special flower also cured illnesses like fevers, burns. Women also used the flower extract as cosmetics and for reducing wrinkles. Some Chinese dishes even contained lily flowers due to their high starch content. Shanghai cuisine still includes lilies in some dishes today.
Lilies are a symbol of purity and abundance. In some cultures, they hold medicinal and religious value. Greek soldiers carried lilies with them as a form of nourishment and for the flower’s homeopathic qualities. The spread of the lily throughout Europe was in part due to these men. In fact, Greek women still wear a crown made of lilies and wheat during their wedding to imply chastity, while others place them on gravesites as a symbol of death.
Lilies hold a fascinating reputation and are a truly special flower. They are still loved worldwide, and they burst with elegance in any bouquet or garden in which they are found.
Do you appreciate lilies a little more now? Tell us what your favorite flower is in the comments below! Click here for a simple DIY chop and drop bouquet featuring a lily.