“Madonna Lily”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana
One of my oldest plants is this Madonna Lily. It is one of the first purchases I made when I was just starting out trying to do some landscaping around our home. It was a mail ordered, with a few other fall bulbs, from Parks Seed. Lured by the photographs and the description that it would do well in our area, I succumbed to this lily. When planted, it grew well but never did flower. I think it was the lack of sun.
When I made the circle garden about six or seven years ago, I transplanted this little lily to front and center. Now, I knew it would get sun. The next spring, sure enough, there was a stalk and one small flower. It was much smaller than I thought it would be, but I have learned since then that it has a small flower. Every year after that, the plant has slowly grown bigger, and this is the best year for its flowers. There are three stalks this year, so there are many flowers opening now.
Other interesting facts about this Madonna Lily (Lilium candidum) is that the flowers are used for an essential oil in perfume. It is from the eastern Mediterranean area and is called the Madonna lily because it was so often used in paintings of the Blessed Mother.
This lily grows during the winter, blooms in the spring, and then dies back in the summer. They also do not root stem as other lilies do, and because of this should only be planted with about two inches of soil on top of the bulb. It is an easy to care for lily because I didn’t know very much about gardening and nothing about lilies when I planted it, and it has done well.
Even though this is a small sized lily, it is certainly a star in my garden. Madonna lilies have stood for purity for over 3,000 years and when it blooms you can see why. The color of its white flower is like no other. It is such a pure white, it is hard to describe the difference this white color is. “Candidum” is Latin for “dazzling white” and a better name couldn’t be found.