The Easter Lily Capital of the World Sits Right Here in Northern California

The Easter Lily make a great centerpiece to any Easter dinner surrounded by family and friends. And it’s very likely they were grown right here in Northern California.

The fertile land in Smith River, California, sitting in the very northwest corner of California, is home to less than 900 residents, but roughly 95 precent of the world’s Easter lilies. In fact, five farms owned by four families in the area grow around 14 million Easter lilies each year.

Easter lilies grow on the Palmer Westbrook, Inc., Easter lily farm in the small town of Smith River, California. Smith River is known as the Easter lily capital of the world. Farmers in the costal area between California and Oregon grows nearly all of the Easter Lily bulbs sold in America.(Credit Image: © Robin Loznak)

Easter lilies are a native plant of Japan, but it was in 1919 when Louis Houghton began planting the flower just south of the Oregon border. When World War II started, the Easter lilies from Japan were no longer being imported, giving Houghton an incredible opportunity.

By 1945, the 600 acre area near Smith River had taken the lead in worldwide production of the plant. Today, the small town still reigns supreme as the Easter Lily Capital of the World.

While the Easter Lily looks tropical, it is very much a staple of Northern California. So if you have some Easter lilies as your centerpiece on Easter Sunday, you are truly supporting local business.

Active NorCal

Northern California's Outdoor Digital Newsmagazine


  1. The article mentions buying Easter Lilies to support local business. But there always a downside.
    Local residents in Smith River have been trying for years to get the state to limit chemical fertilizers and weedkiller and other effluent from Lily farms that have contaminated local wells.
    The flowers are pretty, but they should be grown in a way that does not pollute the local watershed, the estuary for which is the outlet of the state’s most important wild and scenic river.

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