Examining the Lily: The Ultimate Guide to Lily Flower Meanings

Examining the Lily: The Ultimate Guide to Lily Flower Meanings

In the U.S., one of the most well-loved flowers is the lily. Lilies have six striking petals, held in a trumpet shape atop a long stem. The flowers come in various colors and are a popular choice in bouquets for all occasions. Understanding the lily flower meanings can make sending this flower more significant.

The Famous Lily

There are over 100 species of lilies and an exponential amount of varieties. Humans have cultivated the lily for centuries, creating an endless array of hybrids. The most famous lily has its roots in the Ryukyu Islands of Japan. In the 1800s, the lily found its way to the U.S. and Europe and never lost popularity. Nowadays, a small region in Oregon and California is a major player in producing lilies. A part of the lily's popularity is due to how easily it survives after its cut. 

The Story Behind Lily Flower Meanings

Lilies symbolize femininity, fertility and purity. The roots of the symbolism date back to ancient cultures. You can find lilies referenced within a Greek myth where Zeus tricks his wife, Hera, into feeding his half-human son as if it were her own. When she discovers the truth, she flings the baby away and a few drops of milk spill on the ground. Lily flowers grow from the milk.

Babylonia and Assyria had similar coding for lilies. Lilies represent the goddess of fertility and creation, Ishtar. When thinking of lily flower meanings, this may be why many people associate them with weddings.

The Symbolism of Color in Lily Flower Meanings

When choosing a lily arrangement, different colors hold different meanings.


Orange is representative of high energy and confidence. If you want a bold color that represents positivity, choose orange. Most people select orange lilies to give congratulations or well wishes to another person. For example, you can send orange lilies to congratulate a loved one who scored a new job.


Red for any flower means passion. You can send red lilies as a fresh change from the red rose for an anniversary gift. However, red lilies can also represent determination and hard work, making them ideal graduation gifts.


Send yellow lilies to give thanks or show gratitude. Yellow lilies represent loyalty, sunshine and happiness. You can also send yellow lilies as a symbol of friendship.


When it comes to lily flower meanings, pink is a feminine color that also encompasses platonic love and admiration. Send pink lilies to close female friends and family. These bouquets can boost those going through a challenging time or struggling with self-esteem.


White lilies are the most popular. They symbolize rejuvenation and new beginnings. Additionally, most associate the white lily with commitment, purity and rebirth. Weddings and funerals often include lilies. Despite their association with funerals, these flowers support those in mourning rather than representing death.

Discovering Lilies for All Occasions

Lily flower meanings can change depending on the color of the flower. We understand the importance of a flower's symbolism at Beverly Hills Florist. Check out our selection of floral arrangements to send your appreciation, admiration or sympathy to a loved one.