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Lily of the Valley is one of those flowers that could never be mistaken for any other kind of bloom. One of the most notable things about it is its sweet fragrance. I think this quality alone makes it the perfect addition to any bride’s bouquet. This flower has a bell-shape with scalloped petals that can be either white or pink. Each flower has five or six tiny reddish-orange berries hidden inside it. One stalk of this lovely May bloom can have twelve or more flowers on it. I took a closer look at Lily of the Valley this week and here is what I found. Enjoy!
The Story behind Lily of the Valley
Many flowers have an interesting “origin story” and Lily of the Valley is no exception. There is a centuries-old legend featuring Lily of the Valley and St. Leonard. The legend goes that St. Leonard had a great battle with a dragon in a forest near Horsham in England. It’s said that whenever St. Leonard lost a drop of blood during this furious battle, a Lily of the Valley would spring up from the earth. St. Leonard was eventually the victor in his battle with the dragon. Today, visitors to St. Leonard’s Forest can admire large gatherings of these fragrant flowers along with other lush scenery.
Caring for Lily of the Valley
Lily of the Valley can be an attractive addition to any garden and is very easy to care for. These flowers fare best in a shady environment with well-drained soil. Putting these flowers in the full sun will cause their leaves to turn brown and shrivel. Keep in mind that these flowers can spread very quickly. You may want to plant them in a place where there is a border such as a sidewalk that keeps them from overwhelming the rest of your garden. Lily of the Valley can grow to be six to nine inches tall and makes for excellent ground cover. These flowers are vulnerable to some plant diseases, including rust and Southern blight. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to rid your flowers of these diseases.
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Interesting Facts about Lily of the Valley
- The scientific name for Lily of the Valley is Convallaria majalis.
- This bloom became the national flower of Finland in the late 1960s. These flowers are a common sight in the forests of Finland.
- Though it is a symbol of sweetness and purity, this flower is poisonous to both humans and animals. Gardeners often handle it with gloves to protect themselves from inadvertently taking in any of the toxins.
- The fragrance of these flowers makes them deer-resistant.
- Lily of the Valley is a perennial favorite for bridal bouquets because the flower’s shape is reminiscent of old-fashioned wedding bells.
- This memorable flower is also known as Our Lady’s Tears, May Lily, and Lily Constancy.
Photo via http://ow.ly/MTSJw
Now you know the history and facts behind this delicate bloom! Next time you see a gathering of Lily of the Valley, take a few moments to enjoy their unmistakable fragrance.