Discover Lily of the Valley, May’s birth flower

May welcomes the warmth of spring with two enchanting blooms: the delicate lily of the valley and the vibrant hawthorn. These May birth flowers offer contrasting yet complementary expressions of joy, purity, and enduring hope. Let’s delve into their world, uncovering their beauty, symbolism, and practical tips for care, along with some curious FAQs to guide your floral exploration.

Flower and Color

  • Lily of the Valley: These miniature marvels grace the world with dainty, bell-shaped flowers in purest white, often tinged with the faintest hint of pink. They cascade gracefully from slender, arching stems, creating a sense of delicate charm.

Hawthorn: These flowering shrubs burst into life with clusters of small, five-petaled blooms in a range of vibrant hues. White remains the classic choice, symbolizing purity and innocence, while shades of pink, red, and even coral add delightful pops of color to the summer landscape.

Flower Meanings
  • Lily of the Valley: Symbolic layers abound within the lily of the valley. They embody purity, sweetness, and innocence, often representing humility and a return to happiness. Their delicate fragrance adds a touch of romanticism, making them cherished symbols of love and good luck.
  • Hawthorn: These blooming shrubs whisper tales of protection, hope, and enduring love. Their thorny branches represent defense and resilience, while their vibrant blossoms symbolize joy, happiness, and new beginnings. Hawthorns are also associated with creativity and inspiration, inspiring artistic expression and a connection to nature.
  • Lily of the Valley: These petite charmers stand tall at only 6-12 inches. Their slender, arching stems support clusters of delicate, bell-shaped flowers, each adorned with six stamens and a subtle fragrance. Broad, lance-shaped leaves add a fresh backdrop to their enchanting blooms.
  • Hawthorn: These flowering shrubs can reach up to 20 feet in height, creating a natural haven for birds and butterflies. Their dense foliage provides a vibrant green canvas for clusters of small, five-petaled flowers, adding a touch of vibrant cheer to gardens and landscapes. Thorny branches offer a sense of protection and add to the shrub’s unique character.
Growth Habit
  • Lily of the Valley: These versatile blooms thrive in partial shade and moist, well-drained soil. They readily spread, forming charming carpets of white in woodlands and shaded gardens.
  • Hawthorn: These sun-loving shrubs prefer well-drained soil and full sun to partial shade. They tolerate various soil types and readily attract pollinators, adding life and vibrancy to gardens and open spaces.
Blooming Season
  • Lily of the Valley: Enjoy their delicate fragrance and charming bells from late spring to early summer. With proper care, they may even offer a second bloom in the fall.
  • Hawthorn: These vibrant shrubs light up landscapes from late spring to early summer, painting a captivating picture with their colorful blooms and buzzing pollinators.
  • Lily of the Valley: Surprisingly hardy, these delicate blooms tolerate temperatures down to -20°F and bounce back readily after mild frosts.
  • Hawthorn: These tough shrubs thrive in USDA hardiness zones 4-8, readily enduring cold winters and returning with renewed vigor each spring.
Sunlight and Soil
  • Lily of the Valley: Partial shade and moist, well-drained soil are key for these charming blooms. Avoid waterlogging, as it can harm their delicate roots.
  • Hawthorn: Full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil are ideal for these flowering shrubs. Provide adequate water during hot, dry periods to maintain their lush foliage and vibrant blooms.
Garden Uses
  • Lily of the Valley: Create enchanting borders, edge pathways, or fill woodland gardens with their delicate beauty. They thrive in containers and add a touch of spring charm to miniature landscapes.
  • Hawthorn: These versatile shrubs make excellent hedges, screens, and windbreaks. Plant them near patios or walkways to enjoy their fragrance and attract pollinators. Their sturdy nature makes them ideal for naturalized areas and wildlife gardens.
Complete History
  • Lily of the Valley: With a rich history spanning centuries, these delicate blooms have graced gardens and folklore alike. They were treasured in ancient Rome and Greece, and Victorian Victorians believed them to bring good luck. Their captivating fragrance has inspired countless perfumes and literary references, solidifying their place as cherished floral symbols.
  • Hawthorn: These flowering shrubs hold deep cultural significance across Europe and North America. In Celtic mythology, they represented the realm of the fairies, while their medicinal properties were valued by herbalists for centuries. Their sturdy branches offered protection, inspiring their association with resilience and overcoming challenges. Today, hawthorns continue to add beauty and meaning to landscapes, symbolizing hope, love, and enduring connections.
Meaning and Significance
  • Lily of the Valley: As May birth flowers, lilies of the valley represent individuals born under this sign as gentle, pure-hearted, and optimistic. Their delicate beauty reflects a romantic nature and a love for simplicity. These charming blooms encourage new beginnings, a return to joy, and the strength found in humility.
  • Hawthorn: Those born in May under the hawthorn’s influence often possess unwavering hope, creative energy, and a deep affection for family and friends. Their vibrant spirit thrives on new experiences and inspires those around them. Hawthorns remind us of the importance of protection, the joy found in nature, and the enduring power of love and creativity.
Fun Facts
  • The scientific name for lily of the valley, Convallaria majalis, translates to “valley plant of May.”
  • Lily of the Valley is the national flower of Finland and Norway.
  • Hawthorn berries are edible and can be used to make jams, jellies, and even wine.
  • In Irish folklore, hawthorn blossoms were believed to ward off evil spirits.
Caring for Your May Birth Flower

Whether you’ve received a bouquet of lilies of the valley or hawthorn flowers or grow them in your garden, knowing how to care for them will keep their beauty blossoming. Here are some tips:

  • Cut flowers:
    • Lily of the Valley: Trim stems at an angle and place them in a clean vase with cool water. Avoid direct sunlight and add flower preservative for longer blooms.
    • Hawthorn: Trim stems at an angle and remove any leaves below the waterline. Place them in a clean vase with fresh water and change the water every few days.
  • Garden lilies of the valley: Plant in moist, well-drained soil and partial shade. Water regularly during hot, dry periods and divide clumps every few years to maintain their vigor.
  • Garden hawthorns: Plant in well-drained soil and full sun to partial shade. Water regularly during the first year and prune lightly after flowering to maintain desired shape.


If you resonate with quiet charm, purity, and a love for new beginnings, the lily of the valley might be your match. If your spirit embodies vibrant energy, resilience, and a passion for life, the hawthorn might be your floral kindred.

Lilies of the Valley prefer cooler temperatures but can tolerate warmer climates with sufficient shade and moisture. Hawthorns thrive in diverse climates and readily adapt to warmer regions.

Lilies of the Valley complement roses, tulips, and hydrangeas for elegant arrangements. Hawthorns blend harmoniously with daisies, dogwood blossoms, and lavender for a vibrant summery display.

Dried lily of the valley flowers can be used in potpourri or pressed for crafts. Hawthorn blossoms can be incorporated into wreaths, garlands, or even edible decorations like cakes and cocktails.

Celebrate the Spirit of May

From their contrasting appearances to their diverse meanings, the lily of the valley and the hawthorn paint a captivating picture of May’s spirit. Whether you embrace the delicate purity of the lily or revel in the vibrant joy of the hawthorn, let these May birth flowers inspire you to find beauty in simplicity, cherish your connections, and bloom with unwavering hope and a passion for life. So, plant some May birth flowers, decorate your home with their charm, and celebrate the unique spirit this springtime month has to offer!