Happy Easter! I hope you have a relaxing day with friends and family.
The origin of the White Easter Lily, properly known as the Bermuda Lily or lilium longiflorum, can be traced initially to Bermuda and subsequently to the Ryukyu Islands south of Japan. The flower was discovered in 1777 in Bermuda and then widely produced in England and Bermuda until 1898, after a virus destroyed the crops. According to Leonard Perry, a professor at the University of Vermont, growers then moved the plant to Japan.
Their entrance into the United States began with the action of a World War I soldier, Louis Houghton, who was enamored with the beauty of the snow white, pure lily and subsequently brought a suitcase full of hybrid lily bulbs to the west coast of the United States, in Oregon in 1919.
Houghton had numerous friends and neighbors involved with horticulture and he freely distributed the bulbs to them. Large scale production followed and today, the entire Pacific (west) coast of the United States from California to Oregon is known as the ‘Easter Lily Capitol of the World’.