The peace lily is not a lily, and it is not going to produce world peace – so I don’t know where it got its name. The ease with which it grows and brightens a room might bring a peaceful feeling to the people who grow them.

The peace lily is a tropical plant with the botanical name Spathiphyllum, and is related to philodendron and dieffenbachia. Because it is from the jungle, it thrives in low light and it will suffer if the temperature dips below 55 degrees. A few feet back from an eastern-facing or western-facing window works best.

The flowers of the peace lily are tiny and insignificant, but they come in a striking package – starting with glossy, spade-shaped leaves.

Many people think the large, white leaflike part of the plant is the flower, but it is the spathe, which is a bract. In the middle of the spathe is an upright cylinder, which is also not the flower but the spadix, or spike. The spadix is covered by tiny flowers (finally! the flowers!), which produce pollen that drops on the leaves.

Fussy growers cut off the spadix and enjoy the plant with just the spathe. Grower’s choice.

There are many cultivars, which range from 1 to 4 feet tall.

Peace lilies like a lightweight planting medium that is rich in organic matter. They like moist soil and humidity, too, so misting helps. If they get too dry they will wilt, but watering brings them back.

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