Differential Interference Contrast Image Gallery

Lily Flower Buds

Lilies have held symbolic significance in a variety of cultures for thousands of years. Some of the earliest representations of the plants were discovered in a small villa in Crete and date from the Minoan period, or about 1580 BC. The Minoans considered lilies sacred and associated them with their great goddess Britomartis, who would serve as a precursor to the Greek goddess Artemis. Often emblematic of innocence and purity, ancient Greek and Roman brides wore crowns of lilies and, even today, many modern brides carry them in their bouquets. The plants sometimes alternatively symbolize fertility or rebirth, as in the popular Easter lily, and have been believed by some to hold mystical power against evil spirits and ghosts.

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