The Easter lily (Lilium longiflorum) is perhaps the most famous lily of all, not least because it blooms naturally in the summer and not at Easter time. Easter lily production in North America is a result of greenhouse forcing technology. The Easter lily is native to southern Japan. Its other name is Bermuda lily because of its introduction there by sailors and missionaries. Many other lilies also have interesting backgrounds.
In 1978, an independent lily grower, Leslie Woodruff, introduced what became one of the most popular flowers in the world, the stargazer lily. Woodruff's hybrid creation is as fragrant as it is beautiful. Its upturned, deep pink blooms that open skyward inspired the name "stargazer." Stargazer lilies are a particular favorite of florists, who create bouquets and vase arrangements with these cut flowers, alone or incorporated with other flowers such as roses.
The lily of the valley (Convallaria majalis) is the traditional birthday flower for the month of May. It is native to Europe, but today the lily of the valley grows throughout North America and Asia, too. This delicate, bell-shaped white flower can sometimes exhibit a dash of pink. It is a springtime flower that fills the air with fragrance. In the fall, the petals give way to sweet berries. Interestingly, the lily of the valley has medicinal uses derived from the cardiac glycosides contained in its leaves and petals.
The lily of the Nile or African lily (Agapanthus africanus) is native to South Africa. However, today it exists all over the world. In India, for example, it is an increasingly popular choice for gardens in colder areas of the country. This lovely perennial plant flowers in bright blue as well as white funnel-shaped blooms, usually during the summer months. It is a member of the Agapanthaceae family.
As its name indicates, the daylily (Hemerocallis) generally blooms for just a single day. However, because there are multiple buds on every stalk, and numerous stalks in every plant, the daylily is a continuous source of pretty flowers for a period of weeks from spring through fall. Daylilies come in a wide array of colors as well as different shapes and sizes, giving gardeners many choices. Daylilies are native to Asia, but today they grow worldwide.
Ideal House Plants
The peace lily (Spathiphyllum) is the quintessential house plant, very easy to grow and a beautiful addition to any home. Give this plant natural light but not direct sun, plus regular and generous amounts of water, and the peace lily will reward you with elegant white blooms and glossy green leaves that show how happy it is.