What Is the Meaning of a Tiger Lily?

Throughout history, society has assigned to flowers specific meanings and symbolism that tie in with present culture. In modern days, tiger lilies are a common, recognizable flower full of similar representations that humans have placed upon them.

Tiger lily
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Tiger Lily, close-up

Identification

Tiger lily
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Overhead view of tiger lily in garden

Tiger lilies are bright orange flowers spotted with black dots across the petals. They grow to be around 4 feet tall and are lightly scented.

Color

Close-up of a bouquet of orange lilies
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Bouquet of lilies

According to various cultures in both eastern and western civilization, orange symbolizes the energy, balance and enthusiasm of man.

Significance

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Wild tiger lily blooms in Topanga State Park, Los Angeles, CA.

Tiger lily is presented in Buddhism and other religions as a flower of mercy and compassion. Although all lilies are associated with the goddesses Venus, Kwan Y'in and Juno, Tiger lilies are more connected to the aggressive aspects of the feminine.

Warnings

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View of tiger lilies at florist

Tiger lilies carry a variety of viral diseases and can pass them on to other plant species. They are toxic to many cats and can cause vomiting, kidney failure and even death.

Geography

Close-up of lilies blooming
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Tiger Lily in bloom

Tiger lilies are native to northern and eastern Asia and have spread rapidly to occur in both the United States and Canada, including British Columbia, California, Idaho and Nevada.