the beginning of time, lilies have played significant roles in allegorical tales
concerning the sacrament of motherhood. Ancient fables tell us the lily sprang
from the milk of Hera, the mythological Queen of Heaven. Roman mythology links
the lily to Juno, queen of the gods. Legend has it that while Juno was nursing
her son, Hercules, her excess milk fell from the sky. Some of this milk remained
above the earth to form the stars; the rest fell to earth and turned into lilies.
In early Christian art, the lily was a symbol of purity because of its delicacy
of form and its snow white color. Biblical legend tells us that the lily flower
came from Eve's tears when she and Adam were banished from the Garden of Eden.
Easter Lily (Lilium longiforum) is native to the Ryukyu Islands of southern
Japan, as well as the islands of Okinawa, Amani, and Erabu. Although Easter
lilies came to England in 1819, commercial bulb production initially started in
Bermuda in 1853. The Bermuda lily industry was devastated in 1898 by a virus infestation.
Around the turn of the century, the Japanese took over the annual growing and
exportation of Easter Lilies to the United States, and continued to dominate the
U. S. export market until the start of World War II.
U. S. production began with a World War I soldier, Louis Houghton, who brought
a suitcase full of hybrid lily bulbs to the South coast of Oregon in 1919. Houghton
freely distributed bulbs to his horticultural friends and neighbors. With World
War II, the Japanese source of bulbs was abruptly cut off. As a result, the value
of lily bulbs sky-rocketed and many who were growing the lilies as a hobby decided
to go into business. The Easter Lily bulbs at that time were called "White
Gold," and growers everywhere attempted to cash in on the crop. By 1945,
there were about 1,200 growers producing bulbs up and down the Pacific coast,
from Vancouver, Canada to Long Beach, California
lily is the traditional flower of spring and is highly regarded as a joyful symbol
of beauty, hope, and life. Each holiday is marked by cherished traditions
that bring joy, comfort, and warmth, and provide continuity from one generation
to the next. Easter has its share of traditions: egg decorations and hunts; gift
baskets and chocolate bunnies, sunrise church services, parades, and, of course,
the Easter Lily. For many, the beautiful trumpet-shaped white flowers symbolize
purity, virtue, innocence, hope and life the spiritual essence of Easter.
FOR YOUR LILY INDOORS:
Given the right conditions, your Easter lily should last several weeks in your
office or home.
Set your lily in moderate (bright but indirect) sunlight.
Avoid placing your lily near drafts, excess heat, or dry air from appliances,
fireplaces, or heating ducts.
Keep in a relatively cool environment, around
Lilies thrive in reasonably moist, well-drained soil.
Watering every other day should do the trick.
If your lily is wrapped in foil,
make sure the plant is not left standing in excess water.
Remove the anthers
(yellow pollen-releasing structures) from the center of the flowers.
individual flowers as they fade.
YOUR LILY OUTDOORS:
Once the lily starts to whither, consider planting
it in your garden.
your lily in moderate sunlight and water it when it becomes somewhat dry.
When the temperature is mild enough, choose a sunny spot in your garden to plant
Make sure the spot is safe from high winds.
the plant from its original container and loosen the roots.
the bulb 3-5 inches deeper than it was in its container and cover with soil.
generously and fertilize with an all-purpose garden fertilizer.
old shoots stems will wither and die soon after planting.
for new flowers in late July or August.
~ Important Warnings for Pet Owners ~
spring approaches, lilies will become more common in households as potted plants
or in bouquets. Unfortunately, several types of lilies
can be deadly to cats. Easter lily, tiger lily, rubrum
lily, Japanese show lily, some species of day lily, and certain other members
of the Liliaceae family can cause kidney failure in cats. (So far, toxicity has
not been reported in dogs.) Eating just one leaf of this toxic plant can result
in severe poisoning and within a short time your cat will exhibit signs of toxicity.
Minutes to hours after ingestion, your cat may stop eating and begin vomiting.
As the toxins begin to affect the kidneys, your pet may become lethargic, and
within five days, kidney failure will cause death. If you suspect your cat has
eaten part of a lily plant, it is important that you contact your veterinarian
immediately. If treatment is started early, chances for recovery are good, but
once the kidneys have been severely affected, your cat may not survive. Obviously,
the best prevention of lily toxicity is to keep the plants away from your kitty.
If you bring Easter lilies into the house, keep them in a separate room where
your nibbling cat cannot enter. To help educate cat owners about the dangers of
lilies, and other plants, the CFA and the ASPCA have developed website information
for cat owners. Among the site's materials are Ten
Tips for a Poison-Safe Household and Potpourri:
Hazard to Cats.
of us look forward to the excitement of Easter festivities, but there are Holiday
Hazards that can mean danger for your pets. Like children,
cats and dogs love to nibble on goodies in the Easter basket. Unfortunately, our
curious pets enjoy everything in the basket, even the colorful plastic grass,
toys and foil-wrappers on candies. Your pet may also ingest ribbons, bows, streamers
and other decorative items even ribbons and bows tied around their necks.
Dont be tempted to decorate your puppy or kitty; they dont enjoy it
and it may result in choking or strangulation. If you suspect that your pet has
ingested something that may not pass through his intestinal tract, contact your
veterinarian. Waiting until your dog or cat starts to vomit will make removal
of the object more difficult and costly. Also, if you notice a sudden loss of
appetite, vomiting, excessive drooling or abnormal bowel movements, consult with
your veterinarian immediately.
you know that chocolate
can poison your pet? Chocolate is toxic
to both cats and dogs, and depending on the type of chocolate ingested
and the amount eaten, various problems can occur. White chocolate has the least
amount of stimulants and baking chocolate has the highest. Once toxic levels are
eaten, you may notice restlessness, hyperactivity, muscle twitching, increased
urination, and excessive panting. The high fat content in chocolate can also cause
vomiting and diarrhea. Make sure that chocolate is kept in a safe place. If you
suspect your pet has eaten chocolate, consult your veterinarian immediately. Animals
treated for chocolate toxicity generally recover and return to normal within 24
to 48 hours.
... www.Florists.FTD.com and PetPlace.com