06 Apr

The National Flower of France: The Stylized Lily


A beautiful country full of treasures and antiquity, France is in love with all things lovely. So it is not a great surprise that the national flower of France is one that is especially beautiful – the lily. Gardens bloom throughout France and you can find flowers in the center of cities or in virtually every yard you come across. The French government cemented the French adoration of flowers with the declaration of the Stylized Lily as the national flower of France. As the iris and lily were both called lilies before the 19th century, both flowers can be argued to be the national flower of France.

France National Flower Stylized Lily fleur de lis

France National Flower Stylized Lily fleur de lis

The most prominent decorative symbol in France is also drawn from the national flower. The striking fleur de lis is, in fact, the lily. The wide petals of the lily over the elegant stem are immortalized in the fleur de lis symbol that is maintained in decorative pieces from France a century ago and still today. The fleur de lis has long represented the kings of France with its elegant curves.

The Stylized Lily

France National Flower Stylized Lily
The lovely form of the lily is symbolic of many things outside of its regal bearing. The lily has been the symbol of fertility and erotic love as well as purity and piety – an ironic combination – before becoming more commonly associated with the martial arts of warfare. The stylized lily was incorporated into many war banners and family crests throughout France’s history. The lily has elegantly formed petals that appear in groupings of three. The large petals of the lily are arranged in a trinity and are the basis for the famous fleur de lis.

Growing Lilies

France National Flower Stylized Lily fleur de lis
To grow the sort of lilies that are the state flower of France, you need only plant the lily bulbs in a well drained spot that receives at least half a day of sun. Choose a spot that drains quickly after a rain and plant the bulbs four to six inches deep. Place mulch over the bulbs to keep them cool, and space them out well to be sure that the leaves can dry after watering. The beautiful lilies you grow in your garden will be just the sort the people of France enjoy in theirs.

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