20 Facts About Lily of the Valley & Hawthorn, May’s Birth Flowers



People born in May are lucky to have lily of the valley and hawthorn as their own unique birth flowers.

These flowers are beautiful symbols of springtime in many parts of the world and are often found in woodlands.

Here is your chance to learn more about the birth flowers of those born in May!

10 Facts about Lily of the Valley

A group of lily of the valley flowers with their typical drooping white petals

Lily of the valley symbolizes purity, joy, and love. It is identified by its delicate bell-shaped flowers and lush green leaves and can grow to around 8 inches (20 centimeters) tall.

They are members of the asparagus family. Lily of the valley is related to many other plants, including bluebells, hyacinths, and Mauritius hemp.

The lily of the valley was the focus of Thomas Cowherd’s poem, “Song To The Lily Of The Valley.” Cowherd, who lived from 1817 to 1907, described this flower as “true beauty.”

There are various types of lily of the valley. These include “Hardwick Hall” and “Vic Pawlowski’s Gold,” both of which have flowers that are larger than average.

Lily of the valley thrives in places with moisture and some shade. They’re often found beneath large trees and shrubs or along steep banks and other rough terrain.

These flowers have been seen at high-profile royal weddings. In 2011, Kate Middleton, the Princess of Wales, carried lily of the valley as part of her bridal bouquet.

In the right location, these flowers are incredibly self-sufficient and do not need any maintenance. People who want to grow flowers that require little effort may find lily of the valley the perfect choice!

This flower is mentioned multiple times in the Bible, mainly in the Song of Solomon. According to Biblical commentators, it is a beautiful young woman who is being compared to the lily of the valley.

Lily of the valley is also known as Mary’s tears or Our Lady’s tears. Some Christians believe that when Jesus was crucified, Mary’s tears fell to the ground and blossomed into these flowers.

The lily of the valley was adopted as Finland’s national flower in 1967. It was also the national flower of former Yugoslavia until the country broke up in 1992.

10 Facts about Hawthorn

A collection of white hawthorn flowers growing from a small branch

Hawthorn is also known as may, mayblossom, and maythorn. It is undoubtedly one of the May birth flowers!

There are many varieties of hawthorn, including common hawthorn, smooth hawthorn, and cockspur hawthorn. The latter is known for its long thorns, which can grow up to 3 inches (8 cm) long!

The hawthorn tree itself has been a symbol of hope for many people worldwide. Its branches were supposedly used during wedding processions in ancient times in Greece. In contrast, however, others believe it is a very unlucky plant that could lead to illness and death.

Hawthorns are hermaphrodites because they contain both male and female reproductive parts within the same flower. This is not the case for all plants, making hawthorns even more special!

Traditionally, hawthorns were associated with May Day (May 1), a European festival with pagan origins that marks the beginning of spring. Hawthorn flowers were used to make garlands, which were worn by those attending the festival.

Unlike the lily of the valley, the hawthorn plant can produce berries. They are usually red and have a tangy, mildly sweet taste. They’re high in antioxidants and may even help lower your blood pressure and improve your skin!

In the Brothers Grimm’s version of Sleeping Beauty, a huge hawthorn hedge grows around the castle to prevent anyone from entering. Up until the hero of the tale arrives, all suitors perish in their attempts to pass through the hedge.

Hawthorns also act as a protective barrier against unwanted cattle and wildlife due to their thorny, hardwood characteristics. This makes them ideal for small birds to nest in and stay safe from predators.

Located in Norfolk, England, Hethel Old Thorn is one of the oldest hawthorns in the country, dating back to the 13th century. It is located in its very own nature reserve, which is one of the smallest in the United Kingdom!

J. K. Rowling’s famous characters, Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy, used wands made from hawthorn. Fellow fictional wizard Garrick Ollivander said this plant has healing magic and could also be used to put curses on people.


Who would have thought there were so many fascinating facts about the birth flowers of May?

Although they have some similarities, both lily of the valley and hawthorn have their own intriguing history and characteristics!

Whether you’re looking for gift inspiration for a May baby or want to learn more about your own birth flowers, you have a new set of fun facts to share!

About The Author

Lizzie Robinson
Lizzie Robinson

Lizzie Robinson has been a freelance writer since 2011. She studied English Literature at university and enjoys sailing & playing the piano in her free time. Lizzie enjoys writing about current issues & business.

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