Easter Lilies: Symbols of Hope and Renewal in the Language of Flowers

Nicknamed the “white-robed apostle of hope,” this trumpet-shaped flower epitomizes purity and Christian love. They were discovered in the late 1700s and quickly rose to prominence in popular culture in England soon after that. However, it wasn’t until after World War I that the Easter Lily hit the shores of the US, where it’s been a hit ever since. This guide will take you through everything you need to know about the Easter Lily flower’s meaning and significance in the language of flowers. 

Easter Lily Meaning in the Language of Flowers

Etymological Meaning

Lilium longiflorum, better known as the Easter Lily, is a flowering plant growing up to 3 feet tall. They farm part of the Lilium genus and Liliaceae plant family. 

The flower gets its name from the season that makes it popular – Easter – and from the Old English lilie, which means “pale, lovely, white.”

Easter Lily Meaning and Symbolism in Christianity

Soft white East Lily flowers in bloom

Mentioned in both the Old and New Testaments, the Easter Lily carries deep and significant meaning in Christianity. Its white color is a symbolic representation of hope, rebirth, new beginnings, and purity. For Christians worldwide, it is synonymous with the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

But the tradition of the flower isn’t just significant in Christian history. In the pagan cultures of Old, people associated the Easter Lily with fertility and motherhood. That’s why so many people give these flowers to their moms as gifts.

Easter Lily Meaning in Roman and Greek Mythology

Easter Lilies also get a nod in both Roman and Greek mythology. In Greek mythology, it is said that Hera’s lilies bloomed in Hera’s milk, while in Roman mythology, the goddess of love herself, Venus, cursed the lily plant, causing a prominent pistil to grow out of its center. The lily’s offense? It was too lovely and pure, which made the goddess of love envious.

Suitable Gifting Occasions

A close up shot of a single flowering Easter Lily plant with delicate white petals and yellow stamens

Final Thoughts on Easter Lily Flower Meaning

The Easter lily has a long history. The lily flower is mentioned in both the Old and New Testaments, although it also appears in Greek, Roman, and pagan mythology. This popular flower originated in Japan and grew in Asia for centuries before being introduced to the West in the late 1700s.

At one time, more than 1,200 growers of Easter Lilies existed in the US, though today, there are only about ten growers. These ten growers grow most of the world’s supply of Easter Lilies, which they must cultivate out of season to ensure they blossom in time for the Easter holiday each year.

These flowers bring joy, beauty, and hope to the Easter holiday and to any occasion that needs an infusion of love and joy.


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