The classic lily raises its pollen to the sky in the open hand of its bloom. Rarer varieties hold their flower in a fist, the six tips of their petals touching above the stamen, which points to the ground. The lily is the most significant Christian floral symbol, representing the Virgin Mary’s purity and beauty. It is also featured as the ‘fleur-de-lis’ on countless coats of arms in Royal Houses across Europe as a symbol of power.
Legend has it that Venus, the Roman goddess of love, was so jealous of the lily’s beauty she put a spell on it – casting it forever with a dye in its pollen. Anyone unfortunate enough to get lily pollen on his or her clothes will know that it’s a stubborn stain. The only hope of shifting it is to remove it with sticky tape. The moment it is wetted or rubbed, the pollen’s dark red dye is cast forever.
Ranking in the top five most popular fresh cut flowers in the world, the lily has been cultivated for over 3,000 years in more than 100 species. These trumpet-shaped flowers are grown in a variety of colours, some with bright brush strokes and others with freckles on their petals. All are equally beautiful, but it is said that the whiter the lily, the purer and more fragrant its scent.
The lily’s honeyed scent is possibly the most potent floral fragrance. Close the door on a bunch of lilies and when you walk back into the room you will be hit by their splendid smell. The dominatrix of the floral world, lily’s fragrance is both feminine and strong. Now that’s real flower power!