With their exotic blooms sporting speckles and stripes, it’s no wonder that tiger lilies capture our imagination. If you’ve been curious about what these stately flowers might represent, you’ve come to the right place.

If you’re short on time, here’s the essence of the tiger lily’s symbolism: these flowers stand for wealth, pride, confidence and positivity.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll uncover the origins of tiger lilies and how they earned their symbolic meanings over time. You’ll learn about tiger lily spiritual properties, their significance in religions and myths, what they represent in dreams, and how to harness their energy in spellwork and rituals.

The History and Origins of Tiger Lilies

Native Habitats and Physical Characteristics

Tiger lilies (Lilium lancifolium) are a species of lily native to eastern Asia, including China, Japan, Korea, and the Russian Far East. They grow wild in grasslands, forest openings, and mountain valleys. Tiger lilies are herbaceous perennials that emerge from underground bulbs each spring.

They have elliptical leaves arranged in whorls along the 1-2 meter tall stems and produce large, showy orange flowers with dark spots in summer.

How Tiger Lilies Got Their Name

Tiger lilies likely get their common name from the speckled orange petals that resemble a tiger’s fur coat. The curved petals also give the flowers a fierce, curled lip appearance resembling a snarling tiger.

The Latin species name “lancifolium” refers to the lance-shaped leaves. Tiger lilies are known by many other common names around the world, including belladonna lily, ditch lily, fire lily, tiger daylily, and wood lily.

Symbolic Meanings in Ancient Cultures

In China and Japan, tiger lilies symbolize wealth, pride, and prosperity. They were viewed as a protective charm and planted around homes. Buddhist legends associate tiger lilies with tigers walking through meadows.

The black spots represent the tiger’s footprints and orange petals reflect kindness, compassion, and mercy in Buddha’s teachings.

Ancient Greek myths linked tiger lilies to nurturing milk from Hera, queen of the gods. Europeans during the Middle Ages considered tiger lilies symbolic of Mother Mary’s milk and purity.

Ancient Culture Tiger Lily Symbolism
China & Japan Wealth, pride, prosperity, protective charm
Buddhism Compassion, mercy in Buddha’s teachings
Ancient Greece Nurturing goddess milk
Medieval Europe Mother Mary’s milk, purity

With colorful, prideful blooms and maternal symbols, it’s no wonder cultures have long associated tiger lilies with prosperity, hope, and blessings for the future.

Tiger Lily Color Meanings

Orange Tiger Lilies

In the language of flowers, orange tiger lilies symbolize confidence, pride, and wealth. The bold orange color evokes the warm rays of the summer sun, eliciting feelings of joy and energy.

Orange lilies are sometimes given as a gift when recognizing someone’s accomplishments or to inspire self-assurance as they embark on new challenges. They make the perfect congratulatory flower for graduations, promotions, and new jobs.

Red Tiger Lilies

With their passionate red petals, these tiger lilies are all about romance and love. Red evokes feelings of the heart and expresses strong emotions like desire and courage.

Gifting these beautiful blooms conveys affection and romantic intention. They can signal new love or rekindle existing passion in a long-term relationship.

Yellow Tiger Lilies

Yellow tiger lilies shine like the sun, uplifting spirits and symbolizing happiness, joy, and friendship. Their cheerfulness evokes smiles and warmth.

Give these lively blooms to a dear friend to express appreciation and brighten their day. The yellow color conveys the life-giving attributes of the sun, bringing renewed energy and vitality.

Pink Tiger Lilies

With soft, delicate pink petals, these tiger lilies represent grace, gentleness, and femininity. The lighter pink shade conveys sweetness and affection.

Pink blooms speak of tender moments and signal true admiration. They make wonderful gifts for those who have made a positive impact through their kindness and compassion.

No matter their color, tiger lilies as a species generally symbolize positivity and pride. Their unique speckled throats are believed to represent the eye of a tiger, conveying courage, fearlessness, and confidence to overcome life’s challenges.

With their tall stalks and vibrant presence, they boldly announce their power and strength.

Tiger Lily Symbolic Meanings

Wealth and Pride

In many cultures, the tiger lily is seen as a symbol of wealth, prosperity, and pride.

  • The orange color of the flower is associated with gold, making it a fitting symbol for material riches.
  • Its proud upright stance is thought to represent pride, self-assurance, dignity, and confidence.
  • Buddhists see the tiger lily’s upward-facing blooms as a reminder to focus on lofty goals and higher purpose rather than earthly desires.
  • So if you want to attract more wealth and success into your life, display a vase of tiger lilies in your home or office to activate its prosperous energies 🌟.

    Confidence and Positivity

    The vibrant tiger lily radiates confidence with its showy orange-and-black speckled petals. In the language of flowers, it symbolizes positivity and pride. If you’re lacking self-esteem or feeling down, surround yourself with tiger lilies to uplift your mood.

    According to feng shui principles, the fiery hue also energizes spaces and sparks creativity. Check out this authoritative site on tiger lilies to learn more about their positive symbolic meanings.

    Progress and Achievement

    Tiger Lily Meaning How It Can Help You
    Encourages progress, determination, perseverance Keep a tiger lily on your desk when working on big projects or goals
    Represents achievement, accomplishments, recognition Gift someone tiger lilies to congratulate achievements

    In many Asian cultures, the tiger lily is believed to energize new beginnings and mark milestones. Its vibrant blooms are thought to fuel personal progress and drive determined efforts. So if you’re embarking on a new endeavor or tackling a major life goal, let the lively tiger lily infuse you with motivating mojo 🔥!

    The Tiger Lily in Mythology and Folklore

    Chinese Myths about Tiger Lilies

    In Chinese mythology, tiger lilies are believed to symbolize wealth and prosperity. According to legend, a poor farmer named Wang found a tiger lily growing on his land. He took this as an omen of good fortune.

    Wang worked hard to tend the lily, and over time, his farm prospered and he became quite wealthy. This tale led to the tiger lily’s association with good luck in China.

    Tiger lilies are also featured in the myth of Houyi the archer. After Houyi shot down nine suns and saved the earth from burning up, the Jade Emperor was so impressed that he gave Houyi an elixir for immortality. However, Houyi did not drink it right away and asked his wife Chang’e to safeguard it.

    In the end, it was Chang’e who drank the elixir to prevent it from falling into the hands of an apprentice archer who tried to force Houyi to hand it over. Chang’e then flew to the moon to become the Chinese moon goddess.

    It’s said that the spots on the moon form the shape of a tiger lily, representing Chang’e’s noble sacrifice.

    Japanese Folktales Featuring Tiger Lilies

    In Japanese culture, tiger lilies symbolize wealth and pride. An old folktale tells of a wealthy daimyo named Osamu who loved to show off his vast fortune by filling his gardens with expensive plants and flowers.

    His favorite were his prized tiger lilies, which he would admire while drinking saké in the evenings.

    One night, Osamu was startled to find a beggar at his gates, asking for food and shelter. Furious at this disturbance, Osamu had his servants chase the beggar away. The next morning, Osamu went out to walk through his tiger lily garden but was shocked to find all the flowers dead and wilted.

    That night, the beggar returned in a vision and revealed himself to be a nature spirit who punished Osamu for his selfishness and pride by killing his precious lilies.

    When Osamu pledged to change his ways, the spirit revived one tiger lily and told Osamu that it would only rebloom once he learned true generosity. This tale is often told to highlight the Japanese virtues of modesty and charity.

    Tiger Lilies in Dreams and Intuition

    General Dream Interpretations

    Tiger lilies hold powerful symbolism in dreams. Often considered an omen of good fortune, tiger lilies can signify tapping into your intuition, embarking on a spiritual journey, or overcoming challenges.

    If you dream of tiger lilies in full bloom, it may indicate you are entering a period of personal growth and spiritual renewal. The vibrant orange flowers can represent vitality, confidence, and creativity awakening within you.

    Envisioning wilted or dying tiger lilies could symbolize a loss of passion, feeling spiritually drained, or an impending end to a phase of your life. This allows you to reflecting on what needs changing. However, take heart – with care and wisdom, wilted flowers can bloom again even more beautifully.

    Tiger lilies growing in lush abundance points towards goals manifesting and prayers being answered. You feel aligned with your truth and path ahead. Whereas only seeing a single tiger lily may indicate more personal effort is required to attain your desires.

    If tiger lilies feature in surreal or bizarre dreamscapes, your subconscious is opening portals for out-of-the-box ideas to emerge. Symbols always have layered interpretations, so analyze the flower’s condition and surroundings for further insight.

    Tiger Lilies as Signs and Omens

    Across cultures, spotting tiger lilies unexpectedly is believed to signal good luck, encouragement from the universe, and positive life changes drawing nearer.

    In Chinese folklore, tiger lilies represent prosperity in the coming days and protection from harm or illness. Their fiery essence scares away bad spirits.

    For Native Americans, the tiger lily appearing in nature aligns with themes of honor and motherhood. If an expectant mother dreams of tiger lilies, it may foretell the birth of a healthy, strong-willed baby girl.

    Christians view the tiger lily as denoting purity, hope, and salvation, with its trumpet shape reminiscent of Gabriel’s horn symbolizing spiritual awakening.

    Spotting a tiger lily on Valentine’s Day or when reflecting on relationships hints at passionate bonds and deeply caring partners entering your orbit. Their vibrancy reflects how true love catalyzes personal growth.

    Ultimately, tiger lilies signify revitalization. They remind us spring always blooms after winter and we can manifest fresh starts if we nurture our intuition.

    Working with Tiger Lily Magic and Symbolism

    Tiger Lily Spellwork and Rituals

    Tiger lilies are known for attracting wealth, abundance, and good fortune. According to some Wiccan beliefs, placing fresh tiger lilies on your altar can amplify spells and intentions related to prosperity. Some ways to incorporate tiger lilies into spellwork include:

    • Create a prosperity charm bag filled with tiger lily petals, cinnamon, pyrite crystals, and bay leaves.
    • Craft tiger lily oil to anoint green candles carved with runes for abundance.
    • Add tiger lily petals to money-drawing bath rituals.

    As an autumn flower, tiger lilies are also in tune with the harvest season’s themes of gratitude and reaping what you sow. Honor their spiritual meanings by:

    • Decorating an altar with tiger lilies for Mabon rituals.
    • Giving tiger lily bouquets as offerings of thanks.
    • Planting tiger lily bulbs in the fall while visualizing your dreams coming to fruition.

    Harnessing Tiger Lily Energy

    In folklore across many cultures, tiger lilies symbolize pride, confidence, and following your passions. By channeling the vibrant yang energy of these orange blossoms into your spells and intentions, you can ignite your inner power.

    Consider carrying out meditations, prayers, or affirmations with fresh tiger lilies to:

    • Boost motivation for personal growth and life goals.
    • Fan the flames of creativity or courage.
    • Stir up passion in relationships.

    Tiger lily’s rich scent and vibrant colors also make it perfectly suited for correspondences related to the sacral chakra. Try adorning the space for sacral healing rituals with tiger lilies. Their presence helps activate issues related to creativity, intimacy, and sexuality in a bold yet uplifting way.


    With their bold, confident beauty and connection to prosperity, is it any wonder that tiger lilies have come to symbolize ambitious energy focused on achievement? Yet at the same time, these flowers retain an air of playfulness and even ferocity.

    Whether you want to tap into their symbolic power for spiritual growth or are simply looking to brighten up your garden, tiger lilies make a statement. We hope this guide gave you deeper insight into what they represent across cultures and spiritual traditions.

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