World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Lilium longiflorum

Article Id: WHEBN0001877454
Reproduction Date:

Title: Lilium longiflorum  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Lilium, Liliaceae, Lawrence Ogilvie, Easter, Easter lily
Collection: Flora of Japan, Flora of the Ryukyu Islands, Garden Plants of Asia, Lilium, Lilium in Culture
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Lilium longiflorum

Lilium longiflorum
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
Order: Liliales
Family: Liliaceae
Genus: Lilium
Species: L. longiflorum
Binomial name
Lilium longiflorum

Lilium longiflorum (Japanese: テッポウユリ, Teppouyuri), often called the Easter lily, is a plant endemic to the Ryukyu Islands (Japan). Lilium formosana, a closely related species from Taiwan, has been treated as a variety of Easter lily in the past. It is a stem rooting lily, growing up to 1 m (3 ft 3 in) high. It bears a number of trumpet shaped, white, fragrant, and outward facing flowers.


  • Features 1
  • Cultivation 2
  • Use in Eastertide 3
  • History 4
  • Chemistry 5
  • References 6
  • Further reading 7
  • External links 8


Plants tend to grow from about 50 cm (20 in) to 1 m (3 ft 3 in) tall. They have long oval leaves and the vein enters the horizontal direction. From April to June, the plant's flowering season, it produces pure white flowers on top of the stem. The stem has a cylindrical shape, with a diameter of about 5 cm (2.0 in).


A variety of it, L. longiflorum var. eximium, native to the Ryukyu Islands, is taller and more vigorous. It is extensively cultivated for cut flowers. It has irregular blooming periods in nature, and this is exploited in cultivation, allowing it to be forced for flowering at particular periods, such as Easter. However, it can be induced to flower over a much wider period. This variety is sometimes called the Bermuda lily because it has been much cultivated in Bermuda.

Use in Eastertide

Lilium longiflorum is known as the Easter lily because in Christianity, it is a symbol of the resurrection of Christ, which is celebrated during Eastertide.[1][2] The "lily has always been highly regarded in the Church", as Jesus Himself referenced the flower, saying "Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these" (Luke 12:27).[3] Moreover, according to pious legend, "after Jesus' death and resurrection, some of these beautiful flowers were found growing in the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus went to pray the night before His crucifixion. Legend has it that these flowers sprung up where drops of Jesus' sweat fell as he prayed".[4][5] In many Christian denominations, the chancel of the church is adorned with the Easter lily during the Paschal season.[6][7] A poem of the early 1900s titled Easter Lilies by S.R. Allen, delineates this custom:


From the 1890s to the early 1920s, there was a thriving export trade of bulbs from Bermuda to New York. A disease affected the Bermuda lilies: this was identified by Lawrence Ogilvie. In 1903, USDA Agricultural Research Services (ARS) started to distribute disease free plant materials and seeds. The agency also started a breeding program, and released one of the first dwarf cultivars for potted-plant production in 1929.[9] Prior to USDA's effort, lily bulbs in general were largely imported from Japan before the 1940s. The supply of bulbs was suddenly cut off after the attack on Pearl Harbor and Easter lilies became extremely valuable in the United States.

Currently, ninety-five percent of all Easter lily bulbs used in the United States and Canada are grown on coastal bottom lands in northwestern California and southwestern Oregon. The Siskiyou Land Conservancy found that Easter lily growers in this area use 300,000 pounds annually of pesticides. Two of these pesticides, metam sodium and 1,3-dichloropropene, are used in pounds-per-acre amounts that are greater than anywhere else in California,[10] and this use contributes to pollution in streams that feed the estuary of the Smith River.


The Easter lily is a rich source of steroidal glycosides.[11] It also contains bitter principles such as 3,6′-diferuloylsucrose.[12]


  1. ^ Collins, Cynthia (19 April 2014). "Easter Lily Tradition and History".  
  2. ^ Schell, Stanley (1916). Easter Celebrations. Werner & Company. p. 84. We associate the lily with Easter, as pre-eminently the symbol of the Resurrection. 
  3. ^ Soares, Theodore Gerald (1907). The Week of Our Lord's Passion. Hope Publishing Company. p. 210. Retrieved 20 April 2014. The lily has always been highly regarding in the Church. Jesus said "Consider the lilies." The white lily is the symbol of purity. There is a peculiar fitness in the choice of this flower as an Easter emblem. Its bulb is hidden in the earth, and waits the coming of the Easter season to spring forth and blossom. Beautiful in itself it is still more beautiful in its sacred significance. 
  4. ^ Hafer, Todd (2006). Easter A to Z. Hallmark Cards, Incorporated. p. 17.  
  5. ^ Swenson, Allan A. (2002). Flowers of the Bible: And How to Grow Them. Kensington Publishing Corporation. p. 182.  
  6. ^ Luther League Review: 1936-1937. Luther League of America. 1936. There were Easter lilies everywhere, on the platform in Sunday School, and the church was full of them, around the organ, along the chancel rail, inside the chancel, the whole front of the church seemed full of them. 
  7. ^ Franklin, Estelle Eva (1906). Home Science Magazine. Lore of the Lily: Beautiful Traditions That are Associated With the Easter Flower-Its Universality (Home Science Publishing Company). p. 550. The Easter lily, the emblem of the Christian church for centuries, is probably more largely used for decoration of altar and shrine throughout the civilized world, in the festival of the Resurrection, than all other flowers combined. 
  8. ^ Ludwig, O. C.; S.R. Allen (1906). Pictures and Poems of Arkansas. Easter Lilies (Sketch Book Publishing Co.). p. 103. Retrieved 20 April 2014. 
  9. ^ "A Brief History of Easter Lilies and the Role of the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center" (PDF). USDA-ARS. 
  10. ^ "“Acute (and) Chronic Reproductive Toxicity” Discovered at Smith River Estuary". Blog. October 1, 2014. 
  11. ^ Munafo, JP; Gianfagna, TJ (2011). "Quantitative analysis of steroidal glycosides in different organs of Easter lily (Lilium longiflorum Thunb.) by LC-MS/MS". J Agric Food Chem 59 (3): 995–1004.  
  12. ^ Shoyama, Yukihiro; Hatano, Koji; Nishioka, Itsuo; Yamagishi, Takashi (1987). "Phenolic glycosides from Lilium longiflorum". Phytochemistry 26 (11): 2965.  

Further reading

  • Vidali, Luis; Hepler, Peter K. (1997). "Characterization and localization of profilin in pollen grains and tubes ofLilium longiflorum". Cell Motility and the Cytoskeleton 36 (4): 323–338.  
  • Holm, Preben Bach (1977). "Three-dimensional reconstruction of chromosome pairing during the zygotene stage of meiosis in Lilium longiflorum (thunb.)". Carlsberg Research Communications 42 (2): 103–151.  
  • Reiss, Hans-Dieter; Herth, Werner (1979). "Calcium ionophore A 23187 affects localized wall secretion in the tip region of pollen tubes of Lilium longiflorum". Planta 145 (3): 225–232.  

External links

  • Lilium longiflorumwww.the-genus-lilium:
  • in Flora of ChinaLilium longiflorum
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.