Interesting facts about Lily of the Valley

The Lily of the Valley might be seen by the uninitiated as a rather small insignificant bell-shaped flower. In reality, it’s revered by royalty, is a major ingredient in designer scent and is symbolic for many.    

Although not actually a Lily, this little white flower (more rarely found in pale pink) is also known as May Bells, Our Ladies Tears and Mary’s tears and generally appear for a few weeks around the start of May. In France, it’s called Mouget and is celebrated on May 1st as an integral part of the Bank Holiday Celebrations.  On this day it’s common to give a little lily posy to friends and family. The giving of which dates back to 1561 when Charles IX was presented with some as a token of luck and prosperity. He liked the idea so much he started began the custom of presenting some to the ladies in court every 1st May.  

The romantic French have since the start of the last century, traditionally given a bouquet of Lily of the Valley to their intended as a sign of affection.

Originally introduced from Japan to Europe in the middle ages, it has been seen as a lucky charm by the Celts. Today, it’s widely used in wedding bouquet, and often features in bouquets at society weddings including those of Kate Middleton and Princess Grace of Monaco. Its presence in the bouquet signified the return of happiness and being lucky in love.

For those born in May, the Lily of the Valley is the flower of the month. It’s however meant to have 13 flowers so maybe this number is not always unlucky!

It is richly scented was the revered French fashion designer, Christian Dior’s favourite flower which inspired him to produce Diorissimo. He also was famous for stitching them into the hems of his wedding dresses!

For as beautiful as it is it does harbour a great secret. It is in fact quite poisonous and can cause digestive issues, drowsiness, blurred vision and reduce heart rate. Conversely, it was known to be used in the Second World War to help combat the effects of gas poisoning!