Before Transmutation Edit
The flower had white roots roughly an inch long, a green stem roughly a foot tall, and a single broad, flat leaf. At the end of the stem was a five-petaled lily that was pale blue and shaped like a bell.
After Transmutation Edit
The leaf and the stem of the lily were solid gold, the petals were an unrecognizable whitish metal, and the heart of the flower was carved out of rubies and diamonds. Beyond being comprised solely of precious metals, the lily was completely unchanged otherwise.
Eragon, seeking to lighten Arya's mood by giving Arya a flower, found a seed on the plains in the souther Broddring Empire and used magic to sing it into life. It taxed him more than he anticipated, but he prevailed in producing a fully-grown lily, which was later planted by Arya.
The repeated phrases from the Ancient Language that Eragon used to sing the flower into existence are thus:
Eldhrimner O Loivissa nuanen, dautr abr deloi,
Eldhrimner nen ono weohnataí medh solus un thringa,
Eldhrimner un fortha onr fëon vara,
Wiol allr sjon.
After planting the newborn flower, Eragon and Arya were visited by roughly two dozen Spirits. After conversing briefly with them, they departed. However, out of gratitude for Eragon freeing the Spirits in Carsaib when he killed Durza, they worked their magic over the lily before departing. The lily, which was just a normal lily before, was turned into gold.
This was not the only peculiarity of the lily however. Though gold, the lily was still alive. Arya even speculated that it might be able to produce fertile seeds and reproduce, creating more golden lilies. Eragon postulated that even if this was the case, fortune-hunters would dig up and destroy the lilies, to which Arya replied that they may be more difficult to destroy than they seem.
- The figure of speech, ‘to gild the lily,’ already existed in-series before the lily was created. This greatly amused Eragon, since the Spirits had turned the expression into reality by literally ‘gilding the lily’.