Monday, November 9, 2009

Lilium longiflorum, November Lily

Lilium longiflorum
Common names for white lilies vary depending on where you live. This species which is from Japan and Taiwan is also called the Christmas Lily in cooler climates and Easter Lily in the Northern Hemisphere. The Madonna Lily which is also white and trumpet shaped is a different species entirely, Lilium candidum. It is native to south east Europe and the Mediterranean and is often depicted in Christian religious art works connected with The Annunciation as a symbol of purity. It also has significance in the Jewish faith as well.
A third white lily, Lilium formosanum from Taiwan, flowers later in February or March and is a common roadside 'weed' along the east coast. The flowers of this species are on tall stems up to 1.5 metres and have a slight flushing of purple on the back of the petals.
The November lily requires no special treatment as far as garden conditions are concerned. In poor soils it will still flower but only on short stems. It seems to thrive in both sun or semi shade. The flowers below were photographed this morning and were growing amongst roses and other mixed flowers.

The Annunciation ,(1608-09) Caravaggio
Museum of Fine Arts, Nancy, France

Convent Thoughts,(1850-51)
Charles Alston Collins,(1828-1873) British Painter
The Annunciation 1850Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882)
Tate Gallery ,London


  1. Beautiful lilies. Isn't it remarkable that all cultures associate white with purity?

  2. Oh, Ian! How I wish it were spring here. This lily shouts spring and I love to see them around Easter time. I like the artwork you have posted, also. Thanks... enjoy your November spring!