Flower spotlight: Oriental stargazer lily

Flower spotlight: Oriental stargazer lily

The stargazer lily is perhaps one of the most iconic cut flowers available. It is stunning by itself or when added to mixed floral bouquets and adds a wonderful fragrance as well.

Stargazer lilies are named for their upward-facing blooms. The original Stargazer lily has deep crimson and pink petals with white edges, which is what most people think of when talking about this oriental lily. However, Oriental lilies actually comes in other color palettes as well, for example white and solid pink.

Oriental lilies are best identified by their tall upright shape and large flowers.  On average, a oriental lily produces four to six blossoms that can each be six to eight inches across. Asiatic lily varieties have smaller blossoms, but they do come in  larger color palettes than the oriental lily.

The Stargazer lily first appeared in 1978 through cross-pollination of an Oriental lily and Asiatic lily. In its short history, it has become one of the most popular flowers both for garden planting and for floral bouquets. It’s also a flower of mystery, as there are no records of the cross-pollination experiments to identify the exact parentage of this stunning lily.

The Stargazer lily can be used to symbolize many things, including prosperity, abundance, wellness, purity, and hope. It is also the official flower for 30th wedding anniversaries.

To help blooms in a cut arrangement last even longer, it’s best to remove the pollen from each flower as it opens. One easy way to do that is to take a tissue in your hand and cup it around the pollen at the center of the flower and gently pull so that the pollen is contained in the tissue. The pollen will stain on contact with clothes, skin or furniture.

Like other lilies, Stargazer lilies can be toxics to cats, so be sure to keep them out of reach of both pets and children to be safe.

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