Colorful, magical, and fragrant, lilies come in all shapes and sizes and are one of the most popular flowers in the world. These mysterious blooms are full of surprises, though, and come in over 90 different species. We’re breaking it down for you here though and listing the 9 divisions of lilies and showcasing some of the most gorgeous varieties.
In Greek mythology, the lily symbolizes Hera, who is the Greek Goddess of Love and Marriage which is why it is a popular flower in marriages. The story goes that drops of her breastmilk created the Milky Way and a few droplets that fell to earth sprouted fields of lilies. In Christianity, the lily is associated with the Virgin Mary as a symbol of her purity and chastity, while the Easter lily a symbol of Christ’s resurrection.
Due to the vast variety and colors, there are different meanings for different types of lilies. In general, though, these amazing blooms embody purity, fertility, beauty, royalty, sophistication, grace, and rebirth. For more color-specific symbolism, check out the following:
- White Lilies symbolize purity, innocence, modesty, and grace.
- Yellow Lilies symbolize happiness, good health, gratitude, and healing.
- Light Pink Lilies symbolize elegance, femininity, and generosity.
- Dark Pink Lilies symbolize prosperity, abundance, and ambition.
- Red Lilies symbolize passion, desire, and romance.
- Orange Lilies symbolize confidence, encouragement, and wealth.
Basic Lily Facts
“True Lilies” are part of a diverse group of plants from the genus Lilium. All true lilies have six petals and six anthers (part of the stamen that contains the pollen). Generally, lilies are tall, upright plants with flowers in the shape of trumpets, bells, or bowl-shaped. Lilies come in almost all colors, except for blue, and many sport variegated patterns, spots, freckles, or dark patches all of which lends to their endless diversity and appeal.
While lilies are known to be very fragrant, there are some varieties that have no scent at all. To organize the vast array of lily varieties, nine botanical divisions were created to classify both natural and hybridized lilies.
Lily Classifications & Examples
Pink Pixie Lilies
Division 1: Asiatic Hybrid – Most popular lilies in the world. Come in almost every color but have little to no scent. Attractive and long-lasting. (Tango, Forever Susan, Orange Pixie Lily, Elodie Lily, Lollipop)
Turk’s Cap Lily
Division 2: Martagon Hybrid – Dramatic, visually interesting, producing many small dainty downward-facing blossoms. Flowers can be numerous 40-50 per stem and strikingly colored. (Turk’s Cap)
Division 3: Candidum Hybrid – famous for the Madonna lily that has a lovely fragrance white flowers and a yellow base. Up to 20 blossoms per stem. (Madonna)
Division 4: American Hybrid – Includes hybrids of wild lilies in North America. (Tiger Lily)
Division 5: Longiflorum Hybrid – Easter lily and hybrids are with elegant pure white and trumpet-shaped. Bloom during Easter. (Easter Lily)
African Queen Lily
Division 6: Trumpet and Aurelian Hybrids – Tall and elegant with fragrant flowers with stunning trumpet-shaped flowers. Popular Cut Flowers, lush, large trumpet-shaped flowers and heady sweet fragrance. (African Queen)
Division 7: Oriental Hybrid – Known for large, robust, upright flowers. Flowers that fall in this class have large blooms and great scents. Strong, enchanting fragrance. (Stargazer, Casablanca, Acapulco Lily)
Orange LA Hybrid Lily
Division 8: Interdivisional Hybrids – hybrids of the previous seven divisions
Wild Yellow and Red Lily
Division 9: Species – pure, wild “parents” of the previous 8 hybrids. Wild lilies that are the ancestors to all of the other classes.Natural and delicate beauty. Charming.
The Purest Flower
The lily is so prominent in history and today’s cultures because of its grace, beauty, and amazing aroma. Known as a pure flower, it’s no wonder the lily is often seen in wedding ceremonies and other prestigious events. It also adds a wonderful touch of elegance to any home. Robertson’s Flowers has a great selection of floral arrangements… peruse our selection now!