A fragrant flower that often enhances bridal bouquets, lily of the valley is the birth flower for the month during which it blooms---May. Lily of the valley grows low to the ground and makes excellent ground cover, establishing itself with its rhizome root system wherever planted.
The plant is native to portions of Europe and Asia and is the national flower of Finland.
The plant can tolerate dry conditions but prefers moist soil. Lily of the valley thrives in the shade and is a simple plant to transplant, requiring only that the gardener dig it up, place it somewhere and cover the roots with soil.
The white bell-shaped flowers of lily of the valley hang down on the 6-inch tall stalk. They bloom in the spring around the middle of May before eventually turning into small red berries during the summer.
Lily of the valley goes by the name of Our Lady's Tears in some places, with the legend being that the tears of the Holy Mother at the crucifixion turned into the flower as they hit the ground.
The leaves and roots of lily of the valley produce a medication that acts the same way as digitalis does to stimulate the heart. In World War I, this medicine helped those suffering from the effects of gassing.
- May Birth Flower:Birthflowersguide
- Lily of the Valley:Babies Online
- Convallaria:Arena Flowers
lily of valley, bell shaped flowers, May birth flower
About this Author
John Lindell has written articles for "The Greyhound Review" and various other online publications. A Connecticut native, his work specializes in sports, fishing and nature. Lindell worked in greyhound racing for 25 years.