Meaning of Flowers & Lilies

Written by cindi pearce
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Meaning of Flowers & Lilies

Lilies Came From the Queen of Gods

Derived from the Greek word "leiron," which is believed to be a reference to the white Madonna lily, the lily was held in high regard by the ancient Greeks, who believed that the lily sprouted from the milk of Hera, the queen of the gods.


Lilies are the 30th wedding anniversary flower as it signifies devotion, beauty and pride. It is also the May birth flower.

Lilies of the Valley are the second anniversary flower, signifying purity of heart and happiness. Lilies of the Valley are considered a sign of devotion and humility. Legend has it that the nightingale's affinity for this flower is so potent that the bird will not return to the woods until it has bloomed.


Lilies are generally in evidence at funerals because the flower symbolises that the soul of the departed has been granted restored innocence after death.


A lily's symbolism is based on what specific type of lily it is. A day lily symbolises coquetry, whereas a white lily signifies sweetness and purity. The Imperial Lily is associated with majesty, and a yellow lily symbolises gaiety. The Lily of the Valley signifies the return of happiness.

If you see a lily tattoo, the wearer is conveying chastity and innocence. However, in some cultures, the lily summons up thoughts of eroticism and procreation, according to>

Religious Connotation

Christians use the lily as a symbol of Easter, representing the Resurrection and immortality. The lily became a Christian symbol in connection with the Sermon on the Mount, with its passage about "lilies of the field." The lily has an evocative scent, often associated with chastity.

Flower Language

In the Victorian era "flower language"--attaching meanings to individual flowers--began. During the restrictive Victorian period, when men and women could not openly express how they felt, you gave someone a particular flower that non-verbally revealed your feelings. For example, an inverted rose meant that you had been rejected. An upside-down bouquet meant the opposite of whatever the right-side-up flower meant. A red chrysanthemum meant "I love you," whereas a white mum symbolised truth. An iris symbolised warm affection and an orange blossom virginity. An orchid was associated with lust and greed. A peach rose meant modesty, whereas a coral rose meant desire.

It is reported that Queen Victoria began the tradition of including ivy in a bridal bouquet. The ivy could be planted in the garden following the wedding, serving as a constant reminder of the wedding.

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