One of the best ways to celebrate Easter (for those of you who do) is to present your loved ones with an Easter basket, filled with Easter flowers that will fill the house with their color, shape and fragrance.
One of the flowers we most associate with Easter is the Easter lily. This name, though, is given to several flowers, including the daffodil. When someone refers to the Easter lily they most often refer to Lilium longiflorum, a plant originally native to Japan. By the second half of the 19th Century this lily was being widely cultivated in Bermuda, giving rise to an alternate name, the Bermuda lily. At the end of the 19th Century, though (in 1898), a virus swept through Bermuda, decimating the lily stock, and production moved to Japan from then until the beginning of World War 2. With no bulbs or blooms being imported from Japan during the war, production shifted to the US, and in particular Northern California and Southern Oregon, which today produce virtually all the lilies enjoyed in North America, and the vast majority of those sold around the world. Note that like some other lilies, the Easter lily is extremely poisonous to cats.
The main cultivar produces a number of fragrant, white, trumpet-shaped flowers, thought to symbolize the trumpet of God, calling Jesus to return. In addition, the white color of the blossoms signifies purity, and the renewal that Easter brings. Some also believe that the flower itself represents Christ’s tomb, with the blossoms signifying His life after resurrection.
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Around the world different flowers represent Easter. In some Alpine regions, the narcissus (or daffodil) is an Easter flower – as far back as the ancient Greeks the narcissus stood for springtime, rebirth and renewal. In Britain, the daffodil is sometimes called the Lent lily, while in Germany they’re called Easter bells (or Osterglocken.) FlowersFast offer a glorious bouquet of mixed daffodils, bound to brighten any room.
And in England, Poland, Russia and Finland, the pussy willow is often used in church services on Palm Sunday, as replacements for the palm branches (since palms don’t grow that far North of the equator). Some believe the pussy willow signifies health and youth, relating again to the Easter theme of rebirth and rejuvenation.
So when you put together your arrangements for Easter, and consider the huge range of flowers available to you, know that white flowers (tulips and daisies, as well as lilies and pale daffodils) can all be in the mix. Accent with some deep red, which many believe symbolizes the blood that Christ shed for his followers (tulips, or beautiful blood-red azaleas perhaps), and you’ll have a colorful and meaningful arrangement to share, symbolizing one of the most important Christian occasions.