Country of origin: Italy
Plant: Stargazer Lilies

Lilies (Lilia) comprise a genus of plant that is easily recognized by its large, distinct flowers and prominent stamens. Species are native to moderate climate areas of the Northern Hemisphere and the subtropical north, but are now grown worldwide, with dozens of hybrids and varieties ranging almost the entire color spectrum. They are mostly found growing in association with shrubs and other plants which shade their roots and help to keep the bulbs cool and in a uniform state of moisture. The Stargazer lily was bred to overcome the often downward-facing tendency of wild lilies, called stargazer because the blooms faced towards the sky. When mature, Stargazers lilies can grow to a height of 1m with 2 to 8 flowers per stem.

The lily derives its name from the Latin word, lilium, which in turn, was derived from the Greek word, leirion. In Greek and Roman mythology, the lily is strongly associated with the goddess Hera (or Juno), when the first snow-white lily sprouted from drops of milk she spilled after she nursed Heracles. From history the lily has emerged variously as a symbol of purity, innocence, fertility, eroticism and compassion in Christian, Buddhist and political contexts. Traditionally, lilies were used as a source of medicine and food, with the ancient Romans using lily bulb juice for treating corns and the Chinese using the bulbs as an ingredient in soups and stir-fries – a practice still used today.