Lily of valley is flower for May

lily of valley
Photo by Claudia Meyer

by Connie Oswald Stofko

Tiny yet powerfully fragrant, the lily of the valley (also called May bells)  is a favorite for spring gardens.

It is the flower for birthdays in May and symbolizes sweetness, purity and return of happiness.

The scientific name for the plant is Convallaria Majalis.

Lily of the valley is easy to grow. It is a perennial, so it comes back every year.

lily of valley contained in Buffalo NY area
Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

It spreads and keeps its green leaves all summer long, so it can be used as a ground cover. The plants spread by sending out runners, so it can take over a wide area.

I have decided I want to keep my lily of the valley more contained, so I  dug a hole and  set an old flower box in the hole. Then I replanted the lily of the valley inside the flower box.  (See photo above.)

lily of valley in garden
Photo by Christa Richert

My lily of the valley is just beginning to bloom now. Because this time of the year can be cool and rainy, don’t plant lily of the valley in a spot where you’d have to put on hip waders and cross a muddy expanse of yard just to get a glimpse of them. Instead, select a spot where you’ll be sure to encounter them, such as along a sidewalk.

Lily of the valley does well in full sun or part shade. Do you have a tree that hasn’t completely leafed out yet? Consider lily of the valley for underneath the branches of that tree.



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2 Comments on “Lily of valley is flower for May

  1. Friends and neighbors may have them blooming in their gardens now. You may be able to buy the plants or flowers now at garden centers or floral shops. Check out Mischler’s and other businesses in our Gardening Directory.

  2. It is today June 1st are there any lilies of the valley around WNY now??? I friend was asking me for a wedding anniversary gift for her parents….. IF SO WHERE???? any help wound be great!!!!!!

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