A leafy flower stem, typically up to 1.2 metres high, sometimes up to 2 metres high, emerges in late spring and bears fragrant flowers in summer. Flowers are white, flushed yellow at the base. It has long been cultivated, but is susceptible to virus diseases of lilies, and to Botrytis fungus. One possible way to avoid problems with viruses is to grow plants raised from seed.
The Madonna lily is often described as being the basis of the fleur de lis, though the shape of this stylised flower more strongly resembles that of a flag iris. Madonna lilies are depicted in a fresco at the Minoan palace of Knossos. The Madonna Lily symbolises purity for Roman Catholics. Medieval depictions of the Blessed Virgin Mary often show her holding these flowers.
This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.