The lily is a beautifully impressive flower, and comes in different shapes, sizes, and tones. Known the world over for their star shaped blooms and intense colour, the lily is a floral delight that flourishes in almost any climate, and makes for a perfect floral gift. Here at 1300FLOWERS, we have created various arrangements which incorporate both the Asiatic and Oriental lily. The Oriental lily is a magnificent flower, with tight buds that unfurl to reveal large, vividly coloured star shaped blooms. The intoxicating fragrance associated with this flower is reputed to be the most strong and aromatic scent to come from flora. Asiatic lilies by comparison are smaller but by no means less impressive, and are not scented, making them perfect for recipients who are sensitive to strong smells, or have floral allergies. Explore our buying guide to learn more about lilies, as well as great gift suggestions.

Buying Guide

Asiatic Lily

Historically, the Asiatic lily in particular is one of the most prominently featured flowers throughout the ages. For nearly 3000 years, the Asiatic lily denoted prosperity and eternal love in China. Beyond Asia, the lily has been found on Egyptian tombs and Cretan wall paintings, and was entrenched in the mythology of the ancient Greeks; early Christians used the lily as a sign of purity. Throughout the ages, the Asiatic lily has represented fertility, purification, virtue, sweetness, humility and honour. It also has its medicinal uses, and was used by the ancient Romans to cure corn. The showy petals mean that the Asiatic lily is one of the most popular flowers in the world today, and is heavily featured in wedding bouquets and bereavement arrangements.

The diverse Asiatic lily may be lesser in size compared to the Oriental, but comes in a plethora of vibrant colours. With some blooms saturated in a single colour, and some blooms blended with dual hues, the Asiatic lily is available in the tones of vermilion, vivid red, peach, orange, sunshine yellow, and pure white. Their showy star shaped petals and visual appeal mean they are both perfect as centrepieces, or as a stunning enhancement to a floral arrangement. Additionally, their longevity means that the lily will stay vibrant and fresh for up to two weeks, if kept in a vase and cared for. The lack of scent means that this flower is a perfect gift for someone with floral allergies. For sensational arrangements that incorporate Asiatic lilies, have a look at our popular ‘Vanessa’ arrangement, our ‘Wendy’ bouquet, and our ‘Allison’ boxed arrangement.

Oriental Lily

The Oriental lily is the exuberant showstopper of the lily genus, and is well known for its large blooms, rich colours, and strong fragrance. Available all year round, and with an adaptability that allows it to be grown anywhere, the Oriental lily has grown in popularity significantly in recent years. This bloom has been present in gardens for over 3000 years, and is favoured for its beauty, elegance and exotic appeal. Because of its intoxicating fragrance, the extract from this flower has been used to make perfumes for centuries. Today, the Oriental lily represents the ‘universal symbol of beauty’, as well as purity and innocence.

Historically, the Oriental lily was first recorded in Greek Mythology, which details how the flowers emerged from the Goddess of marriage in the form of milk. The greeks also believed the lily to be the flower of Aphrodite, the Goddess of love. The interest in this exotic flower bloomed, and for centuries travelers and merchants bought the Oriental lily to Europe, creating a dedicated following. Because of their strong fragrance, the popularity continued. The Oriental lilies we use today are actually hybrids- a genetic cross between the Japanese lily, and the Gold Band lily, both which originated from Japan, China, and Taiwan. When you want to send an exotic gift that is a beautiful alternative to traditional roses, the Oriental lily is a perfect choice. Take a look at our most popular Oriental lily arrangements: the ‘Claire’, the ‘Zara’, and the ‘Gina’. Bear in mind that because of the heady fragrance associated with these blooms, it would not be suitable for those with floral allergies, hay fever, or sensitivity to strong smells.

Frequently Asked Questions

My lilies arrived closed- why were they not open?

When lilies are delivered open, they are extremely susceptible to transit damage- and we don’t want to risk your beautiful blooms arriving in any condition less than pristine. Additionally, open lilies do not have a long vase life, and we want your flowers to last as long as possible. The beauty of watching lilies unfurl to reveal rich and vibrant colour is worth the wait, and the lilies usually bloom within 1-2 days of being received. Lilies have a vase life of up to 2 weeks when delivered closed.

In what instance should I not send lilies?

Lilies are highly toxic to cats, and can result in renal failure if not treated immediately. All components of the flower, including the stem, leaves, petals and pollen are poisonous to felines, and even minor exposures can be fatal. Do not send any variety of lily to someone who owns cats. Opt for some beautiful roses instead.

How do I care for lilies?

Arrange your lilies in a vase, and change the water once every two days. To keep them fresh, cut off 1-2 cm from the bottom of the stem at an angle, allowing the lilies to absorb the water easier. If properly cared for, lilies will last for weeks. Also, be wary of the orange coloured tips inside the flower, known as anthers. They do leave stains on any clothes or furnishings they come in contact with. To prevent this, gently remove the anthers with a tissue.

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