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The History of Easter Lilies

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEaster Lilies are called “The White Robed Apostle of Christ”.  It is said that one of the lilies grew in each spot of sweat Christ shed in The Garden of Gesthsemane the night Jesus was in such agony.

Their pure white flower symbolizes eternal life and peace just as the Spring season does.  They have a long trumpet shaped snow white flower that has a sweet fragrance.  It’s scientific name is lilum longflorum.

Easter lilies are actually native to the southern islands of Japan.  A WWI soldier named Louis Houghton loved the beautiful flower so much that he loaded his suitecase with hundreds of bulbs and took them back home with him to Oregon in 1919.  To this day 95% of the millions of Eastern Lilies grown each year come from California and Oregon.  This area is referred to as “The Easter Lily Capital of The World”.

The bulbs are harvested in late Fall.  It’s strange to think that while we are having our first enjoyment of Poinsettias, farmers are already planning for this Easter plant.  The bulbs are shipped to greenhouses where they are forced to grown under controlled conditions so they are ready to bloom and be distributed in time for Easter.

Churches lavish their crosses and altars with this beautiful plant.  The Easter Lily is the iconic symbol of Easter and of Spring.

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