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 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.