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The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

NEW Whole Trade Costa Rican Lilies

We're excited to announce the launch of NEW Whole Trade® Costa Rican Lilies! These absolutely gorgeous flowers are grown on a Rainforest Alliance certified farm in greenhouses perched high on the side of the Irazu Volcano in Costa Rica. They thrive in the rich volcanic soil, intense sunlight, consistent temperatures and high altitude. Not only are these lilies stunning but they also support an awesome organization. For each box of Whole Trade lilies purchased, we make an additional contribution to our friends at EARTH University in Costa Rica to support their scholarship fund. EARTH (Escuela de Agricultura de la Región Tropical Húmeda) is a non-profit, international university dedicated to the sustainable development of the tropics through education, research and outreach. EARTH specifically recruits students from poor, rural communities around the tropics and provides many students with full scholarships so they can attend. Learn more about our partnership with EARTH. Additionally, with each purchase of these flowers, one percent of the retail price goes to the Whole Planet Foundation, which is creating real results in the fight against poverty. Whole Planet Foundation, a private, nonprofit organization established by Whole Foods Market, provides grants to microfinance institutions in Latin America, Africa and Asia who in turn develop and offer microenterprise loan programs, training and other financial services to the self-employed poor. So, all that means that you can feel good about enjoying these beautiful lilies and about helping out others at the same time. Keep an eye out for Whole Trade lilies, but please note that they are not available in all of our stores. We also source lilies locally where available, like in our West Coast stores. There are two main varieties of lilies: Asiatic and Oriental. Here's the scoop on the difference:
  • Asiatic lilies have smaller flowers, thinner stems, a shorter growing cycle, no fragrance, and come in many colors.
  • Oriental lilies have big flowers, heavier stems, a longer growing cycle, lots of fragrance, and come mostly in pink and white color tones.
Enjoy your lilies as long as possible with these basic care tips:
  • Trim at least 1 inch off the bottom of the stem, and clear away any foliage that will sit below the water line.
  • Immediately place into cool, clean water.
  • Change the water in your vase at least every 3 days (and give the stems a fresh cut) to help ensure that your flowers are able to continually "drink.
  • Keep lilies out of direct sunlight as this can cause discoloration.
  • Pollen can be a pest! To keep stains from appearing on clothing, table linens, carpeting, and even the bright white petals of Oriental varieties, remove pollen when still "smooth" by plucking it off.
  • Should you find yourself plagued by a bright orange pollen mess, gently brush the pollen away using a craft pipe-cleaner (do not rub it in) and wash with soap and warm water. Pipe-cleaners can also be used to brush pollen gently off the petals of your lilies.
We hope you enjoy these lovely flowers as much as we do!