Plant of the Week
Easter lilies are a special type of potted white lily. The Latin name for them is Lilium longiflorum. Like most lilies, these are not pet friendly. If you have an animal companion that likes to eat plants, keep these out of reach to avoid poisoning.
Most lilies bloom in the summer and even with special care it is difficult to get them to flower at Easter. The white trumpet lily naturally blooms early which makes them the perfect choice for Easter flowers. Since they were introduced to the United States early in the 1900s, they have come to be the traditional flower used for decorations in homes and churches during the holiday season.
Many legends have grown around the lily through history. Some believe that the lily flower came from Eve’s tears when she and Adam were banished from the Garden of Eden or that the “white-robed apostles of hope” sprang from the ground when Christ’s tears fell during His Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane. Another story says that as Christ walked the earth all of the flowers bowed before Him – except the proud lily. After the Crucifixion, the lily bowed its head in sorrow-and-shame, and grows that way still.
The lily’s large trumpet-shaped white flowers stand for purity, virtue and innocence and are often associated with the Virgin Mary (the plant is commonly referred to as the ‘Madonna Lily.’ Early blooming Easter lilies are a spectacular symbol of hope and the rebirth that comes with spring. What better symbols could you choose to show the spiritual essence of Easter?
For more information on Easter Lilies, please visit this link at: http://plantanswers.tamu.edu/publications/lily/lily.html
Remember, Learn and Have Fun!
David Rodriguez is County Extension Agent-Horticulture, Bexar County. For more information, call the Master Gardener ‘Hotline’ at (210) 467-6575 or visit our County Extension website at http://bexar-tx.tamu.edu, click under Horticulture and Gardening.