Flowers are love’s truest language. ~ Park Benjamin
Violet with Lilies of the Valley
(Best viewed large/ click on image)
These were from my garden/ Savanna, Illinois (USA)
Once placed in the lily family (Liliaceae), lilies of the valley are in the family Asparagaceae, today. The lily of the valley is a sweetly scented, woodland flowering plant native to the cool temperate Northern Hemisphere in Asia, and Europe.
Popular in gardens for its fragrant bell-shaped flowers and ground-covering abilities in shade, the flower is also known as Our Lady’s Tears or Mary’s Tears from Christian legends that it sprang from the weeping of the Virgin Mary during the crucifixion of Jesus. Other etiologies have its coming rom Eve’s tears after she was driven with Adam from the Garden of Eden.
Other names include May lily, May Bells, and Muguet (French). Its scientific name, Convallaria majalis means “of or belonging to May”, and old astrological books place the plant under the dominion of Mercury, since Maia, the daughter of Atlas, was the mother of Mercury or Hermes.
In the “language of flowers”, the lily of the valley signifies the return of happiness. Legend tells of the affection of a lily of the valley for a nightingale that did not come back to the woods until the flower bloomed in May.
Despite its sweet perfume and beauty, all parts of the plant are highly poisonous, including the red berries which may be attractive to children. So, as often is the case in Nature “Look (and smell) but don’t taste!”
Canon Rebel XTi