Flowertalk: all you need to know about the Lily

Gabrielle Koster

Not only one of my dear friends is called Lily, it’s also the flower that has been assigned to me by Mooiwatbloemendoen.nl when I got crowned Flower Girl of 2018.  Did you know: Lilies symbolize femininity, love, purity and impermanence. Plus, they can be found all over the world.

Photography by Jorian Lub

The lily

But the lily is really full of symbolism. Alchemists considered it a lunar plant with feminine qualities, while the Lily is in high demand in China for weddings because its name sounds like the start of a phrase wishing the couple a happy union for a century. The primary symbolic meanings of this flower are:

  • Femininity: in the time of the Greeks and Romans, brides receivest a crown of lilies in the hope of a pure and fruitful life.
  • Love: in Victorian times, when people received the lily, they knew: this is my lover.
  • Purity: white lilies are often used as a sign of virginity and purity.
  • Transience: the serene and pure appearance of the lily focuses on emotions in times of loss and grief.

The Lily, photo by Jorian Lub


Lilies are not only versatile in color, shape and size, but also in terms of origin. In the wild you can find them 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 Balkan countries, Greece, Poland, the Alps and the Pyrenees. Also in the most American states comes in the wild of the states. You can therefore safely call the lily a true world traveler!

Photography by Jorian Lub

What I love about the lily

Next to the fact that this flower is a true world citizen, it comes in so many colors. You will find the lily in serene white and quiet pink, but also in striking red, yellow, purple and orange. There are even lilies that have stripes, borders or dots. And all those colors have different meanings. According to FlowerMeaning.com: “White lilies are an obvious symbol of purity, especially since many Christian denominations use the snowy Madonna Lily to represent the Virgin Mary. The striped pink flower known as the Stargazer Lily is one of the most popular flowers for bouquets today, and it means ambition and encouragement with a difficult challenge. Yellow and gold lilies most commonly symbolize good health and healing, while bright red blooms speaks of passion and work great for weddings and proposal bouquets.” As you can see, I decided to brighten up my home with a bouquet of gold lilies, which symbolize good health and healing!

Photography by Jorian Lub

This article was written in collaboration with Mooiwatbloemendoen.nl.