Lily of the valley is a flowering plant.
Other names include May bells, Our Lady’s tears, and Mary’s tears.
This flower is cultivated in shaded garden areas in many temperate parts of the world.
Lily of the Valley is a herbaceous perennial plant.
The plants often grow closely together, forming a dense mat, and are sometimes used as ground cover.
Lily of the valley has nodding white bell-shaped flowers that are borne in a cluster on one side of a leafless stalk. The glossy leaves, usually two, are located at the base of the plant. The fruit is a red berry.
Over the centuries, the lily of the valley has developed many meanings:
• Its small stature and shade-loving disposition have made it a natural symbol of humility.
• The sweet-smelling white flowers have been associated with the traditional feminine virtues of chastity, purity and sweetness.
• In the Victorian language of flowers, lily of the valley meant “return of happiness.”
• Christians have handed down the legend of Eve’s tears, which holds that when the biblical Eve wept after her expulsion from the Garden of Eden, the tears turned into lilies of the valley.
• The plants are sometimes also associated with the purity and chastity of the Virgin Mary.
Not a true lily, it is botanically called Convallaria majalis, which means “May valley.”
Lily of the valley is only species of the genus Convallaria in the asparagus family (Asparagaceae).
Its French name, muguet, sometimes appears in the names of perfumes imitating the flower’s scent.
In 1956, the French firm Dior produced a fragrance simulating lily of the valley, which was Christian Dior’s favorite flower. Diorissimo was designed by Edmond Roudnitska. Although it has since been reformulated, it is considered a classic.
Other perfumes imitating or based on the flower include Henri Robert’s Muguet de Bois (1936), Penhaligon’s Lily of the Valley (1976), and Olivia Giacobetti’s En Passant (2000).
Lily of the valley was the floral emblem of Yugoslavia, and it also became the national flower of Finland in 1967.
In the Bible, lily of the valley is mentioned 15 times, most often in the Song of Solomon.
According to the Bible, the lily of the valley blossomed from the spot on the ground where Mary’s tears fell at the foot of the cross.
Lily of the valley is supposed to protect gardens from evil spirits and is known to have been used as a charm against witches’ spells. It is also considered the flower of fairies, its tiny bells used as cups from which to drink.
The lily of the valley is the May birth flower.
Lily of the valley has been used in weddings and can be very expensive. Lily of the valley was featured in the bridal bouquet at the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton.
In terms of musical influence, “Lily of the Valley” is also a song by Queen on their album Sheer Heart Attack.
Lily of the Valley is highly poisonous. It was featured in the TV show Breaking Bad, as it was used by Walter White as a naturally occurring poison.