Lilies, lilies, lilies….Part 1

  

There are several flowers that people call “lilies;” however, many of them are not lilies at all. I find customers commonly misuse the word or are often confused by lilies and their look-a-likes! All of them are different shapes, sizes, colors, and smells! Which lily is right for you? The next couple posts will discuss the different types of lilies and which lily is the one you want for your special occasion!

The flower most commonly referred to as “lily” in the floral world is the star-shaped lily. It has six showy petals/sepals (sepals look like petals but are slightly different). In general, these will cost more than other flowers, but they have a couple characteristics that set them apart from the average flower.

They have a long vase life. You can usually expect to get a week out of standard fresh flowers. There are some flowers that hold up well beyond that point, but not many. Fresh lilies will continue to bloom and look nice well past one week—if given the proper care.

Most lilies will have several blooms per stem—anywhere from three to five. The more blooms, the more expensive the stem will be. Not all of the blooms will open at once. It will be a sequential bloom from the bottom of them stem to the top. Some of the small blooms at the top may never bloom—but they are usually still a decorative compliment to the arrangement.

One down side to these lilies is that they produce pollen. The pollen does stain! If you are using these flowers around valuable fabric (ex: a wedding dress!) you want to make sure the anthers have been removed. This will remove all of the pollen from the flower. The orangish/brown parts pictured below are the anthers. They can easily be plucked off the flower!

There are three different variations of this type of lily: asiatic, oriental, and hybrid. All of these are similar in over-all shape, but have very different characteristics. In the interest of keeping the posts short—I will describe these three variations in my next post!

Kim Martin — Floral Design Specialist — Columbia, MO

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