Lily of the Valley has the botanical name of Convallaria magalis and originated in Europe. Today it is distributed widely throughout North America and North Asia, but in England it is still found as commonly as a wild flower.
It is the only species in the genus Convallaria in the flowering plant family Ruscaceae, formerly placed in the lily family Liliaceae or in its own family called Convallariaceae. Other names include May Lily, May Bells, Lily Constancy, Ladder-to-Heaven, Male Lily and Muguet.
The Lily of the Valley is also known as Our Lady’s tears because according to legend the tears that Mary shed at the cross turned into Lily of the Valley flowers. Another legend claims that the flower also sprang up from the blood of St. Leonard during his battle with the dragon.
In the Victorian classic, The Language of Flowers, the Lily of the Valley is said to symbolize the return of happiness. Though this old-fashioned favorite bears dozens of blossoms, it can only last for less than a week.
The flowers are normally white, although occasionally you can find some with a pink hue to them. Lilies of the Valley live in shady places and have delicate bell-shaped, fragrant white flowers growing on a stalk between two shiny leaves. The plant was long used medicinally for cardiac disorders and contains poisonous substances.
With bell-shaped flowers that infuse the air with fragrance throughout the day, it is commonly used in wedding bouquets, perfumes and is a perfect addition to your bedside table or bathroom counter.
If you watched the Royal wedding of Will & Kate you probably recognized the Lily of the Valley in Kate’s Bouquet. There were over 100 stems of this delicate flower in her modest yet elegant bouquet.
All you ladies getting married this summer who want to re-create the look of Kate’s bouquet should know that Lily of the Valley is very expensive and difficult to get in the months of July, August & September.
You can get a similar look using these alternatives: