Is Lily the Flower of Death?


Lily is one of the most popular flowers in the world. The name is even said to be the most used flower name for babies’ names, and this plant has even earned the title ‘Queen of the Garden’ by many gardeners. There are between 80 to 100 species of these plants, primarily native to the Northern Hemisphere in Asia, North America, and Europe.

Of course, this title and popularity are earned with efforts and a long history, dating as far back as 1580 B.C. Picture of lilies was discovered in Crete inside a villa, where researchers concluded that lilies have long existed since then and are considered sacred in the Minoan civilization. Besides that, lilies have also been included in Greek mythology, where the plant is believed to be sprouted from the Goddess Hera’s breast milk. In Roman mythology, the Goddess of Beauty, Venus, was so jealous of these plants’ beauty that she caused a huge pistil to grow from its center.

The name of the plant itself derives from the Greek word Leiron, and their scientific name is Lilium. These white and graceful blooms are often mentioned in ancient books, even in The Old Testament and New Testament. Before they were widely hybridized, these plants were rare and difficult to grow. Because of their unique appearance, producing leafy stems and large, trumpet-like petals along with their strong fragrance, many explorers have done expeditions in the past to discover these plants. A notable explorer named Augustine Henry has traveled the world to locate types of lilies, making one of them called Lilium henryii in his honor, and the other one named E.H. Wilson who wandered all over China and finally discovered the white Lilium regale.

Aside from decorations and presents, this plant has been believed to have magical qualities. From the medical texts found back from the Elizabethan era, their pharmacists recommended using the Lilium plants to treat wounds, fever, and arthritis. Meanwhile, the bulbs of the plants are largely used in cooking in China. The bulbs are a frequent ingredient in Shanghai’s local cooking.

Why is it called a flower of death?

These flowers have gone through hundreds of years of history, so they must have been associated with many meanings and symbolism. From the 30th wedding anniversary flower to the funeral flower, there are varieties of interpretations for lilies. These meanings and symbols have their differences, depending on the color and the type. For example, white-colored lilies symbolize virginity, virtue, and innocence. They represent purity and abundance, thus making them often used as crowns to place on the top of a lady’s hair. They even become the symbol of the Virgin Mary’s purity and her role as Queen of the Angels in Christianity. Another example, the white stargazer represents sympathy; the pink stargazer represents wealth and prosperity; the Peruvian lily represents friendship and devotion. If you plan to give them as a gift, you can order them via flower delivery Singapore and have them delivered directly to the recipient’s home.

You might wonder why this beautiful bloom is called the flower of death. It’s not entirely true, although lilies are often associated with funerals. They become a symbol of rebirth, transience, and innocence. By gifting them, they symbolize the soul of those who have departed will restore their purity after death and reincarnation to a better life. With those meanings, they have become excellent mourning flowers.

 The lily can also be a powerful symbol of the spirit from the loved ones who offer hope and encouragement towards the family in grief. Because the white shades are also associated with purity and youth, it is excellent for the funeral of someone who died at a young age.

When should I give them?

Although closely related to the meaning of death and the afterlife, you can still give them as a thoughtful gift, depending on the occasion. If you decide to give them as an expression of feeling towards someone dear, pick a mixture of a lily bouquet with other flowers or a mixture of different colors to avoid misconceptions. However, you need to be mindful when sending them to people in Asian countries that hold their culture and tradition strongly, especially during the joyous occasion. Because they are related to death and sorrowful events, it is recommended not to give them white-colored lily as it may cause confusion and misunderstanding.

These blooms are the birth flowers of those who were born in the 5th month of the year, May. You can send them as a birthday present for your friend born in May to match the meaning! They are also perfect for a gift of the 30th anniversary because they symbolize the strength of devotion and humility. Meanwhile, you can opt for the lilies of the valley, which are the signature for the 2nd wedding anniversary.