Peace Lilies are popular houseplants because they will tolerate a variety of conditions and are easy to care for. They are also beautiful, with their lush green foliage and delicate white flowers.
However, Peace Lilies are more than simply pleasant to look at; in fact, they can be used to convey different meanings or signs. Here we look at the history of the Peace Lily and the ways it can be interpreted in symbolism.
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What Does Peace Lily Mean?
The common name of ‘Peace Lily’ comes from two different elements which are rooted in the plant’s appearance. First of all, the Peace Lily is not actually a Lily at all.
True Lilies belong to the Lilium genus, while Peace Lilies are actually from the Spathiphyllum genus and the family Araceae. However, they became commonly known as Lilies because many people believe that the flowers on a Peace Lily are similar to the flowers produced by true Lilies.
The ‘Peace’ section of the name ‘Peace Lily’ comes from the white “flower” on the plant. This is said to look like a white flag, which represents peace, surrender, or a truce.
Understanding Peace Lily Flowers
Though many people are referring to the white ‘petal’ when they discuss the flower on the Peace Lily, the white part is actually not a flower at all. Instead it is a spathe, which is actually a modified leaf with the job of protecting the inner true flowers on the spadix. The spadix holds the real flowers of the plant.
This is the erect spike inside the white spathe, which is covered in tiny pebble-like bumps. These bumps are actually the flowers. However, it is very common for people to regard the whole entity, including the white spathe, as the flower, for the sake of ease.
Peace Lily Symbolism
There are various elements of the Peace Lily which have caused it to become a symbol of purity, hope, peace, and longevity. Here we investigate the reasons behind the symbolism.
White is widely considered to be a color associated with innocence and virginity, for example, a white wedding dress or the white robes worn by the Pope. White is also the color of cleanliness and freshness, such as clean white sheets or a sparkling white bathroom. The result of this is that many plants with white flowers have come to symbolize purity, and the Peace Lily is no exception.
The white flowers on a Peace Lily mean that this plant is often used to symbolize purity, and it is quite common to see Peace Lily flowers being incorporated into bridal bouquets or given as gifts at a wedding. The Peace Lily also represents purity from a functional perspective.
This plant is known to be one of the best types of houseplants for filtering harmful toxins from the air, as reported in a study by NASA. The fact that this plant can actually purify the air means it makes perfect sense that it should be considered a symbol of purity and cleanliness.
The Peace Lily represents peace because of the similarity between its white flowers and the white flag of surrender or truce. The white flag is an important symbol that is associated with the relief of an end to war or fighting. The Peace Lily was named after this association, and as such, it is widely used to convey feelings of peace.
It is commonly gifted to bereaved families after the loss of a loved one as a sign that they are sending thoughts of peace and healing. From an aesthetic point of view, the Peace Lily is also suggestive of peace and harmony, with its slender foliage and delicate white flowers. The plant is also used in Feng Shui to transform negative energy into positive energy, thereby healing the room and creating a sense of peace.
The Peace Lily signifies hope because of the way that it continues to bloom every year or even several times a year in some scenarios. The ability that the Peace Lily has to continually offer something to look forward to is the reason why the plant is considered to be a symbol of hope.
The Peace Lily is a long-lasting plant with flowers that do not wilt quickly and the ability to bloom season after season. Due to this, the plant is thought to symbolize longevity. Many Peace Lilies kept as houseplants can live for more than ten years.
Occasions for Peace Lily Symbolism
Peace Lilies are loved as beautiful house plants, so they make great gifts. They are also easy to care for, making them suitable to give to people who have no experience in looking after plants.
Peace Lilies are widely available, which also makes them a good choice for a gift because they won’t be hard to source. As Peace Lilies are able to convey meaning and symbolism, these events, in particular, are suitable for gifting this plant.
A house plant is a common gift to give to friends or family when they have moved into a new home, but if you want your gift to symbolize peace and harmony for the new home, then a Peace Lily is the best choice. The Peace Lily is associated with peace and prosperity, so you can give it to new homeowners to wish them a peaceful existence in their new abode.
As Peace Lilies symbolize peace, they are commonly given to bereaved people after the passing of a loved one, or they are delivered to the graveside at a funeral. If you like to take fresh flowers to the final resting place of a deceased loved one, Peace Lilies will also work well for this.
They can convey your wish for the deceased person to have found ultimate peace, or for the people left behind to find peace in the absence of their dearly departed.
Peace Lilies, like many other plants which produce white flowers, signify innocence, purity, and chastity. Because of this, they are a nice gift to give to a bride on her wedding day.
They can also work well as a gift to the newly married couple because they symbolize peace and harmony. The white flowers of the Peace Lily mean that the plant usually works well with the color scheme of bridal parties, matching the bride’s dress or accessories.
The way that Peace Lilies symbolize longevity and hope makes this plant an ideal gift to give parents of newborn babies to celebrate their arrival. It signifies the hopes and dreams that the parents may have for their child and serves as a wish for a long and prosperous future.
When a friend or family member is recovering from an illness, you might think about sending them a plant to wish them well. A Peace Lily is a good choice because it has a soothing and calming appeal which is appropriate for healing.
It also filters out toxins in the air to help with a speedy recovery, and the beautiful flowers can lift the mood of a person who is unwell, which has been proven to help with the recovery process.