Lily of The Valley Meaning and Symbolism

  • 4 min read
  • Jun 04, 2021
Lily of The Valley Meaning Symbolism

Lily of The Valley Meaning – In the middle ages, this flower brought to Japan from China. It has a rich and interesting history that includes being a symbol of good luck and happiness as well as looking beautiful on May 1st. We also look at its deep symbolic meanings.

The first century of the new Millennium saw people in France begin selling Lily of the valley on May 1- with no taxes, as it was a symbol of spring and sign for abundance.

In fact, if one were to give these flowers to someone you love, it would be considered a wish for luck and good fortune.

But there is also a darker meaning to this flower. Lily of the valley, when ingested, can cause vomiting or skin rashes.

As such, before giving the flower to someone you love make sure they understand that it’s poison and know that sometimes lilies signify sadness or pain due to death.

One meaning of lily of the valley is that its bells call good spirits. It also symbolizes peace and luck.

Some believe it can communicate with those on the outside, which may explain why it was often kept in homes to rid them of bad vibes.

Lily of The Valley Meaning, Symbolism and Characteristics

Lily of the valley Cultural Significance

Lily of The Valley Meaning

One Greek myth tells that Apollo, the god of sun, was growing lily of the valley to keep his nine muses’ delicate feet safe while walking through a forest. The flower also symbolizes delicacy and kindness.

In Christian tradition, the lily of the valley is called “our lady’s tears.” This term derives from Virgin Mary crying for her crucified son.

Lily of the valley started out as a story in Eastern Europe. In it, Lily of the Valley was taken to measure the purity of someone’s heart who had died.

Another theory though is that it symbolized something different–either Eve’s tears after she was expelled from the Garden and Eden or her innocence that she lost there–humility.

Another old custom involving lily of the valley comes from medieval England’s “May Day” celebration. Called a “courtship”, it is one of the dances that was performed during May.

If you wanted to ask a girl to the dance, it was traditional for you to hang up bundles of lilies in her doorway.

When she came back from school and saw that those flowers had been placed near her house, it was like handing her a formal invitation.

Lily of The Valley & May 1st

Lily of the valley Cultural Significance

One popular story of Lily of the valley goes back to 1560, when King Charles IX and Catherine de’ Medici visited the Drome region. In this famous account, there is a man named Louis de Girard.

The fragrance of the flower was so pleasant to King Charles that he in turn started giving them to the ladies of his court for good luck.

In this way, a tradition spread throughout France and Lily of the Valley became universally associated with good fortune and luck.

Another version of the story says Catherine de’ Medici sent Louis on a secret mission, and when he returned, as a sign of success, he gave Charles V a bouquet of lilies.

Two hundred years later, lilies of the valley got yet another meaning. At the beginning of the 20th century, labor organizations and people started selling them on May 1st as a symbol of springtime, work and fruitful harvests.

The tradition continued across Europe up to today when they were sold every May 1 throughout this month.

Characteristics

Characteristics of lily of the valley

This flowering plant is known as Lily of the Valley. The scientific name for it is Convallaria majalis, but many people recognize it by its other names: May Bells or Muguet.

This type of flower grows in cold areas and usually appears in large colonies.

Lily of the valley blooms in spring and releases a light and sweet scent. This is why it has come to represent fresh, new beginnings as well.

Due to high demand in the perfume industry, with an equally high amount of these flowers needed for manufacture, specialists have been replacing it with other plant types.

That is why you almost never find a perfume made from the extracted oils of Lily-of-the-Valley.

Unlike most flowers, the lily of the valley is highly toxic for humans. If ingested, it causes vomiting and diarrhea.

However, this flower has also been used medicinally at times – for example, during World War I, extracts from this plant helped counteract mustard gas exposure.

Lily of the valley – a natural flower with white petals, common in Northern Europe – symbolizes unity. For this reason it is often used in weddings, where it represents hope for a happy marriage.

Is it Ok to Touch Lily of The Valley?

lily of the valley is poisonous

Yes, people can touch lilies of the valley. They are poisonous and it is important to keep them away from pets since they may be attracted by their smell.

In some cultures touching a Lily of the Valley blooming means you are engaged or married in love. In others this could mean that someone has died so don’t pick one up.

How Poisonous are Lily of The Valley?

How Poisonous are Lily of The Valley

Lily of the valley are poisonous to humans and animals. What should I do if my pet eats a Lily of the Valley plant?

If your dog or cat has eaten these plants contact their veterinarian immediately because they can die from eating them.

If you touch some it is important to wash your hands with soap after handling them, but not to worry too much about touching them on your clothes because if you wear a different shirt the next day it won’t harm you.

Where Should I Plant Lily of The Valley?

Where Should I Plant Lily of The Valley

Lily of the valley are poisonous to humans and animals. So it is best not to plant them where children or pets can reach them.

Keep in mind that they grow pretty fast so if you want some, pick a few up at your local nursery on the way home from work today!

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