NATURES BEAUTY - LILY

Easter is upon us, and no flower is more associated with the celebration of Jesus Christ’s resurrection than the lily. Traditional lore says white lilies emerged where drops of Christ’s sweat fell to the earth in his final hours on the cross. The ancient Greeks believed lilies came from the breast milk of Hera, the queen of the gods. In Roman mythology, Venus, the goddess of beauty, was jealous of the flower’s white loveliness. A European legend says if you approach an expectant mother holding a lily….

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NATURES BEAUTY - SQUASH

Is squash a vegetable or a fruit? You would probably call a zucchini squash a vegetable, but you would most likely call a pumpkin a fruit. The definitive answer, from a botanical view, is squash are fruits because they contain the seeds of the plant.  Squash are some of the oldest cultivated crops on earth, believed to have originated in Mexico and Central America more than 10,000 years ago. The word squash comes from the Narragansett Native American word askutasquash, which means…..

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NATURES BEAUTY - CINNAMON

One of the best-loved spices of cooks and food lovers alike is cinnamon. Made from the inner bark of the Cinnamomum tree, cinnamon has been around since the days of ancient Egypt, where it was used to embalm mummies. The tree is native to the Caribbean, South America and Southeast Asia. Indonesia and China produce three-quarters of the world’s supply of cinnamon today.

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NATURES BEAUTY - LILY

Easter is upon us, and no flower is more associated with the celebration of Jesus Christ’s resurrection than the lily. Traditional lore says white lilies emerged where drops of Christ’s sweat fell to the earth in his final hours on the cross. The ancient Greeks believed lilies came from the breast milk of Hera, the queen of the gods. In Roman mythology, Venus, the goddess of beauty, was jealous of the flower’s white loveliness. A European legend says if you approach an expectant mother holding a lily in one hand and a rose in the other, she will choose the lily if the baby is a boy.


There are 80 to 100 species of lilies. These perennials come in many different colors: white, yellow, orange, red, pink, purple. Some lilies are speckled or spotted. Their trumpet-shaped flowers give them their distinct beauty, making them look, as one source put it, like “bouncy, bright butterflies on swinging curved pedicels.” Depending on the species, a lily can grow from 2 to 6 feet tall. Some lilies have a strong fragrance, but others are unscented.


Lilies are classified into several broad categories according to various traits they have in common, such as flower shape. The two main types of lilies are tropical and hardy. Lilies can flourish in temperate climates and they can grow in pots. Most lilies prefer a porous, loamy soil, and good drainage is essential. Plant your bulbs in dirt that is two and a half times their height. Most lilies prefer full sun but will perform well

in partial shade. Be sure to keep them well watered and regularly give them fertilizers that are rich in phosphorus, which encourages growth. If your lily has a heavy flower head, you may need to stake it to keep it upright.


Some lilium bulbs are actually edible, tasting sort of like a root vegetable or a potato, though some of them are very bitter. In China, lilies are considered to be a health food. They are usually sold in dry form and are used to add flavor to soup. Sliced lily bulb scales are part of a traditional wedding dish in some areas of China. They represent a wish for the couple’s marriage to flourish harmoniously. In other parts of Asia, the bulb of the Madonna lily was cultivated to use as a poultice on tumors, ulcers and skin inflammation. Native Americans boiled and steamed fresh wild lily bulbs. They flattened them into thin cakes for storage or ground them into a flour to thicken soups. They also used the bulbs for healing snake bites.


Cats and lilies do not mix. Some members of the Lilium genus produce a chemical that is fatal to cats if they drink water from lily vases, lick the plant’s pollen or bite into it. So enjoy your lilies, but keep them away from your cats. Is your 30th wedding anniversary coming up? Then load up on lovely lilies – they’re the traditional gift for that milestone anniversary.



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TANYA TYLER

Tanya Tyler is the Editor of Health & Wellness Magazine

more articles by Tanya Tyler