Water lilies are flowers that tend to usually grow in tropical and temperate climates around the world. These flowers look similar to Lotus because they have flowers floating on the surface of water, with its roots firmly in the soil in water. Water lilies also have round leaves just like lotuses and come in a variety of colors like white, yellow or pink.
One legend surrounding waterlily meaning says that it was actually a star that fell onto the water from the sky which then turned into a flower. For many years and in many cultures across the world, they have been cultivated as ornamental plants. The different waterlily meaning is said to be joy, happiness as well as new wishes and new spirit.
Place of origin
Waterlilies are said to grow only in mountains, marshes, vast grasslands and dense forests. However, now this pretty flower can be grown anywhere provided the climate conditions are suitable for its growth. It is also a popular flower that has appeared in many cultures and has stood the test of time. For example, Romans used these flowers to fill their pillows while the Egyptians believed waterlily meaning was sacred.
For a flower to be true Lily it has to come from the genus of Lilium. This is because many flowers usually are named Lily but don’t have the origin of the true lily. Some examples of lilies that are not true lilies include Arum and Daylilies.
Symbolism and waterlily meaning
This delicate flower has been associated with several symbolic meanings which include eternity, beauty, purity and divinity. It is also often compared with the lotus flower as both grow in muddy water. The spiritual significance of both these flowers are quite similar even though they vary in appearance. In various religions of the world, both the lotus and waterlily have been known to represent the creation of several goddess and gods. Therefore, a waterlily is considered a symbol of the divine world, purity, elegance and everything eternal in this world.
In the spiritual sense, this flower is often said to represent freedom from the material aspects of life. This could be because it is peaceful and relaxed but still cannot be accessed due to the surroundings in which it grows. Waterlilies are thus a popular symbol of purity and chastity in many cultures.
Religious and cultural symbolism
In several religions, in many parts of the world, waterlilies have stood as an important religious symbol. They have represented ideas, emotions, beauty and enlightenment. In various countries around the world, based on certain cultures and practices, there are different meanings of these flowers. Common symbolic meaning of waterlilies in most cultures include optimism and rebirth as these plants return to waterways even if in previous season, they had dried up completely.
Creation, sexuality and fertility are also some meanings associated with this flower. In Greek culture, waterlilies represent modesty while unity of people and universality is symbolized by waterlily in Egyptian culture. Blue waterlily is especially revered due to its ability to produce fruits and blossom at the same time. As a result, they stand for the cycle of life – birth and death as well rebirth.
In Buddhism different colors of waterlily has different symbolic meanings. White waterlily denotes mental purity, purple waterlily is power while red waterlily symbolizes pure love and romance. Blue waterlilies are linked with the power of knowledge. Similarly, in Hinduism, waterlilies are said to represent resurrection. This is because at night, these flowers close their blossoms and the next morning they bloom again. They are also associated with purity as it grows in mud yet the flower is free from mud and dirt- untouched and pure.
In religions such as Christianity, a common term associated with the waterlilies is purity and chastity. White waterlilies in particular have come to symbolize and stand for purity and virginity in the religion. One reason for this is the fact that waterlily is a religious symbol that is associated with the Virgin Mary.
Symbolism based on colors
Rebirth and purity for White waterlilies
White waterlilies often represent a revival of the soul. They are also said to convey the emotion of sympathy mainly because they symbolize rebirth, purity and promise.
Respect and femininity for pink waterlilies
These delicate blooms usually stand for feminine power, admiration and love. Femininity and feminine beauty are also linked to this flower.
Romance and passionate love for red waterlilies
Just like the red rose, this lively and fiery flower symbolizes love and often have a romantic symbolic meaning.
Liveliness and confidence for orange waterlilies
A strong and bright flower, they symbolize confidence in oneself and a never give up attitude. Different meanings for orange waterlilies include warmth, life satisfaction, positivity, confidence and assurance. Due to the brightness of this color, orange waterlilies stand out from the crowd- often symbolizing uniqueness. This explains why orange waterlilies represents respect and honor. Additionally, these flowers also stand for important life milestones and also represents a person full of joy, enthusiasm and life.
Success and pride for purple waterlilies
The color purple has always been associated with accomplishment, dignity, admiration and pride. This has been linked to the purple waterlily too. Throughout different cultures in the world, purple waterlilies have stood for royalty and is often regarded as quite rare and beautiful.
This could be why purple waterlilies represent qualities such as passion, privilege and elegance.
Friendship and happiness for yellow waterlilies
These beautiful and bright flowers have been known to represent the quality of gratitude or thankfulness. They are also a symbol of positivity as the sunny color could uplift anybody’s mood in an instant.
Flower of romance- the blue waterlily meaning
In Ancient Egypt and Egyptian culture, the blue waterlilies have long represented gender and sexuality. Not only that, a blue waterlily also came to be associated with fertility and creation as well. This symbolism can be seen in many ancient paintings of Egypt which depict naked women holding a blue waterlily bud or flower. It was done to indicate the fertility of the woman or her ability to produce children.
This sacred flower holds a lot of importance in Egyptian culture and is often seen in stone alters, parts of Egyptian temples and even pillars of monuments. Additionally, they also symbolize the sun. The blue waterlily is called the lily of the Nile and also called the flower of love. In South Africa too it is a popular flower, often called the Bluish African lily.
Bloom and bud – waterlily meaning
Since it blooms in muddy and dirty water, the blossoms of the waterlily are considered quite sacred in several cultures. The way the petals of the waterlily blooms in the morning is often compared to the human soul opening up and accepting the blessings of the divine energy.
Thus, the bud of this flower often symbolizes the willingness to accept the wishes of the divine and achieve enlightenment. It represents the journey where one becomes free from worldly possessions in order to attain spiritual realization.
Pleasure, harmony and peace
In many parts of the world, waterlily is often pictured as an elegant flower with its beautiful petals that give out a subtle fragrance. As a result, waterlily meaning has become synonymous with peace, chastity and pleasure. The qualities of rebirth hope, joy, gods, spirituality, celebration, wellness, innocence has been associated with the flower.
New life, beginning and delight
For thousands of years, waterlilies have been grown as a very popular ornamental plant. This is especially seen in ancient Egyptian cultures where waterlily meaning is considered sacred. These flowers are said to be common symbols of delight, new spirt, new beginnings, new life, birth and happiness in several ancient cultures. One reason why it is associated with purity is the fact that the waterlily blooms in the spring which symbolizes the beginning of the nature’s rebirth cycle.
Summer and spring seasons are when waterlily blooms magnificently in different, exquisite colors such as yellow, pink, blue, orange, red, purple and white. Around the world, they grow around this time especially if the conditions are ideal for its growth. This is why waterlily meaning came to be associated with freshness, liveliness and joy.
Thus, the delicate and pretty waterlilies are a favorite among people in the world for their symbolic significance and for their elegant appearance. This could be why waterlilies have been chosen as the national flower in several countries. Not only that, major religions also consider these flowers to represent their beliefs and ideals.
Additionally, many varieties of waterlily exist across the world. There are some waterlilies that only bloom during the day and some that bloom only at night-time. Again, there are others that are considered endangered while some waterlilies can are native to only a particular region. All this variety and its different symbolic meanings and importance, makes it a mesmerizing, magical flower.