Lily of the Valley Plant Facts and Meaning

 Lily of the valley is just a hardy, shade-loving plant, it can also be known by its scientific name of Convallaria majalis. Other names include muguet, Jacob’s ladder, male lily, Lily Constancy, ladder to heaven, Convall-lily, May bells, Our Lady’s tears and May lily. Lily of the valley is just a low-growing plant that grows by spreading rhizomes (roots) under the ground. The flower typically grows to about 8 inches tall and resembles dainty white bells. Lily of the valley plants which can be fully grown can have small, white, bell-shaped flowers with a powerful fragrance. They’re valued primarily because of their scent.

Lily of the valley flowers grow best in USDA zones 2 through 7. Lilies of the valley are aggressive spreader, they’ll grow best in regions of shade, such as for instance in warmer climates since the plant enjoys cooler weather. However, in locations that experience cooler summer temperatures, this plant can prosper in full sun. Lily of the valley performs well in any kind of soil and seldom troubled by diseases and pests. This plant also spreads easily and has the ability to overtake other flowers and plants. As such, it is effective in beds with edges in order to help retain the spread of the Lily of the Valley rhizomes.

Lily of the Valley is effective with rhododendrons and hostas, and grows well under evergreen or other trees. Their symbolic value may even exceed their landscaping value. Convallaria, its genus name originates from the Latin meaning “in the valley”, discussing the woodsy and sheltered European vales where in actuality the plant grows widely. Majalis, its species name, refers to the month of May, the month where they usually bloom. That’s why they are sometimes called as May lilies and it is customary to offer lilies of the valley on May Day in France.

Christian legend holds these sweet flowers grew where Mary’s tears fell at the crucifixion. In Christian allegorical paintings, lily of the valley is employed to symbolize humility, that is probably because the flowers appear to bow demurely downward. Based on Margaret Grieve (herbalist), the sweet scent of the plant is thought to call the nightingales out of the hedges and encourage them to seek a companion in spring.

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