What Are the Birth May Flowers?
Lily-of-the-valley, with its small, dainty, bell-shaped white flowers, is a perennial groundcover that spreads aggressively given the right conditions. These flowers represent sweetness and purity,
Hawthorns are flowering shrubs in the rose family with flowers that bloom in May in small white, red, or pink clusters. Small berries, called haws, sprout after the flowers. The hawthorn is a longstanding symbol of hope.
Lily-of-the-Valley Meanings and Symbolism
- In ancient astrology, lily-of-the-valley was said to be protected by the son of the goddess Maia. In Greek mythology, that son was Hermes, for the Romans, it was Mercury.
- According to legend, lily-of-the-valley fell in love with the song of the nightingale and only bloomed when the bird returned to the woods in May.
- It is also believed that Apollo created the groundcover flower for nymphs to walk on.
- This flower has been associated with motherhood, sweetness, purity, and humility. It signifies a return to happiness, likely due to its time of bloom and the anticipation of summer.
- In Christian lore, lily-of-the-valley came to be, from Eve’s tears after she was expelled from the Garden of Eden. It has also been said that lily-of-the-valley sprouted from the tears of Mary at the site of Christ’s crucifixion.
Hawthorn Meanings and Symbolism
- Hawthorns have long been a symbol of hope. Other associations include its ability to mark the entrance to other worlds, with a strong connection to fairies.
- Ancient Greeks were said to use its branches during wedding processions, while in Celtic lore, Hawthorns were thought to heal a broken heart.
- According to Serbian lore, it was once believed that stakes made from hawthorns could slay vampires.
- Hawthorns are associated with the pagan symbol of fertility.
- It was once thought that bringing a hawthorn blossom inside would be followed by illness and death. During medieval times, the smell of hawthorn blossom was associated with the Great Plague.
- Many have believed that a hawthorn’s bloom marked the point of change from spring to summer.