Lily of the Valley, Its Meaning and Symbolism

Lily of the Valley is known to be convallaria majalis. This flower is unique, and it is the only species in the genus it belongs to. An important thing to know about this flower is that it is not a Lily. It is an herbaceous perennial plant. These flowers are leafy and can grow about one foot tall. The height will remain on a single stem, but one stem can have at least five to fifteen flowers. The flowers look like a bell, and generally, it is white. 

Lily of the Valley Flower has been loved and adored by a lot of people. Because of its absolute beauty and also the meanings behind this flower that people do appreciate it.

The Name

The scientific name is majalis or maialis, which means “belonging to May.” It is classified as part of the Asparagaceae family.

The Location

Lily of the Valley grows best in a cool temperate climate and can be found mostly in Asia and Europe.

This flower has been native to Asia, Europe, and North America because it grows in temperate forests.

The History and Legends

As told in the story of Adam and Eve, the Lily of the Valley came from the tears of Eve when she was exiled from the Garden of Eden. Thus, the flower was mentioned in the Bible fifteen times.

Based on ancient astrology, the flower was under the protection of the son of the goddess Maia. The son in Greek mythology is Hermes, while in Roman Mythology, it is Mercury.

Another legend speaks about the lily of the valley, which fell in love with a singing nightingale. It will only be bloomed when the nightingale will return to the woods in May.

In England, it is a medieval tradition that during May, people will celebrate spring by dancing. They called it “the courtship.” The practice requires a young man to put a bundle of Lily of the Valley Flowers on the doorway of his beloved one’s house hanging. If the young girl goes to the dance, she will put on the flowers on her hair as a sign of her acceptance for her admirer’s invitation.

Fun Facts

  • In royal weddings of Queen Victoria, Princess Astrid of Sweden, and Kate Middleton, they used white, bell-shaped buds as their wedding bouquets.
  • Lily of the Valley, in 1947, became the national flower of Finland.
  • In Yugoslavia, Lily of the Valley became the floral emblem.
  • In France, they celebrate La Fete du Muguet, which is the Lily of the Valley Day every 1st of May.
  • The famous British rock band, the Queen, has a song dedicated to the bloom of Lily of the Valley flower.

Its Meanings and Symbolism

Lily of the Valley has different meanings based on other cultures. As a whole, the scented white flowers are considered to be a symbol of motherhood, purity, sweetness, and innocence.

  • For Germans, based on their mythology, Lily of the Valley means humility and purity. It is associated with Ostara, the virgin goddess.
  • During the Victorian period, Lily of the Valley stands for “return to happiness.”
  • For Christians, the Lily of the Valley is a representation of humility and a symbol of Christ’s second coming.
  • Lily of the Valley has become a common symbol for Christianity. Based on their tradition, they refer to the flower as “our lady’s tear.” This name is based on the story of the Virgin Mary crying during his son’s crucifixion. The story goes like this: the Lily of the Valley was brought to the gates of heaven. It is used as a measurement for the purity of the heart of the soul.
  • In Greek mythology, Apollo was growing Lily of the Valley flowers to the passage going to the woods and protected the delicate feet of his nine muses while walking through the woods. Hence, the flower symbolizes kindness and delicacy.
  • In Romania, there is an old story of an orphaned girl. The girl lost her parents and was crying on their graves. Later, the Lily of the valley started to sprout and grow on the place where she is crying. Therefore, it became a symbol of tears.
  • During the Renaissance period in France, a man named Louis de Girard had given Lily of the Valley flower to King Charles IX and his mother Catherine de’ Medici when they visited the Drome region. The scent of the flower enchanted King Charles IX and he started to offer it to every ladies of the court during the Spring when it blooms. The tradition was practiced throughout the country, and it became a symbol of good luck.
  • In France, during the 20th century, people started to sell Lily of the Valley on the 1st day of May. They would not pay any taxes for the sold flowers. It becomes a symbol of spring, work, and good harvest.

Uses for the Lily of the Valley

As a Flower

Many brides have chosen this flower as wedding bouquets because its white color brings peace, and it will help to purify the mind and spirit. Another symbolic meaning of Lily of the Valley flower is unity. The flower symbolizes hope for a long and happy marriage.

As ingredients for perfumes and other cosmetics

The sweet aroma coming from the Lily of the Valley flower became the reason for the surge of demand from the perfume industry. It has been used as a popular ingredient for perfumes and other cosmetics like in Penhaligon’s Eau de Toilette and Molton Brown hand cream,

As a Medicine

Lily of the Valley was very significant during World War I since it was used to combat gas poisoning. It was used to cure epilepsy, heart disorders, and skin burns.

As a Jewelry

Lily of the Valley has been the most loved flower by the royals.  This flower was the wedding bouquets by Queen Victoria, Princess Astrid of Sweden, Grace Kelly, and Kate Middleton.

There is no doubt that this flower has been the inspiration of many jewelers around to world. Jewelers crafted a jewelry design out of this flower, which symbolizes royalty and honor.

For instance, Lily has been an inspiration for our artisans to create a handmade sterling silver jewelry collection called the Lily of the Valley Collection. This collection entirely showcases the significance and importance of Lily throughout our history and the symbolism and meaning of the flower that will give our life colors and aesthetic purposes.

The collection is composed of the following stunning sterling silver piece of jewelry

Lily of the Valley Ring

This ring pictures a natural white crystal petal that surrounds a gold stigma, silver, or gold stem that curls itself around your finger. It is ending with your preference either with a flower bud, leaf, or a vine. It is a unique design handcrafted by our artisans made of authentic sterling silver and natural white crystal. This ring represents purity and beauty all at the same time.

Lily of the Valley Earrings

This earring pictures a natural white crystal petal which surrounds a gold stigma, a silver or gold stem that curls ending with a leaf as a stud. A beautiful handcraft sterling silver jewelry of our artisans that symbolizes royalty and purity. An earring that will enhance your beauty and presents your faithful personality.

Lily of the Valley Earring II

This earring depicts a tiny natural white crystal flower bud that has a gold stigma on the center. A silver or gold stem is creatively used as a stud and a lock at the same time. It is a fascinating, unique design handcrafted by our artisans. A perfect sterling silver jewelry for every lady everywhere.

Lily of the Valley Bangle

This bangle pictures a natural white crystal that surrounds a gold stigma, silver, or gold stem curls itself around your wrist. A stunning handmade sterling silver jewelry that means the lady is wearing this bangle is pure and beautiful.

Lily of the Valley Brooch

This brooch shows a natural white crystal petal that surrounds a gold stigma, silver, or gold stem ending with a leaf. A unique handmade sterling silver jewelry by our creative artisans that will showcase the purity and faithfulness of every ladies wearing it on their dress, coat, or shirt. A perfect accessory to show your pride and elegance by wearing a jewelry that has a royalty inspired flower for its design. 

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"Something is handmade is so much more meaningful"

Beth Wert