We all have a birthstone, a star sign, and it may also surprise you to know, but you have a birth flower too. Which birth bloom is yours depends on the month in which you were born? Unlike many other months, May actually has not one but two birth flowers associated with it. These include ‘Lily of the Valley’ and the ‘Hawthorn’. Both blooms are great options to gift those who celebrate their birthday in the month of May, and in doing so, you’ll ensure the gift has a personal touch.
Blooms that are symbolic of different months and seasons boast different characteristics, many of which are portrayed by the individual born in that month. These tend to vary wildly from month to month, which is why knowing an individual’s birth flower can help to make a floral gift all the more special.
What flower represents the month of May?
One of the blooms that represents May is the Lily of the Valley. The bloom is also known as Convallaria majalis, the second word of which means “of or relating to May”. This is one of the reasons it’s an ideal choice as a birth bloom for this month. It boasts delicate, white flowers that have a sweet smell. When grown outdoors, they spread to cover huge areas, especially in semi-shaded areas such as woodlands.
The bloom is also closely associated with weddings and is often added to bouquets and centerpieces. It was even included in Kate Middleton’s incredible all-white bridal bouquet. It’s often paired with Sweet William (also known as Dianthus barbatus) and rich green foliage. Another famous name to have had this flower in their wedding bouquet was Grace Kelly, whose bouquet sixty years earlier consisted solely of Lily of the Valley.
Despite these romantic gestures, it’s important to remember that all parts of the Lily of the Valley bloom are very poisonous, especially to animals. If displaying the bouquet indoors, make sure you place the bouquet out of the reach of pets. As a birth flower for May, it acts as a symbol of purity, humility, and the return of happiness. If you have something to celebrate, it might be just the bloom you need.
The other bloom associated with May is Hawthorn. Its botanical name is Crataegus. This genus of shrubs and small trees belongs to the rose family. The common Hawthorn is the species most commonly seen in the UK, which also goes by the name of hawthorn, C. monogyna.
It’s often referred to as the May tree, due to the pretty pink and white blossom that embellishes the shrub in a shroud of glory. It’s also one of the reasons it’s often used as a hedge. The name of the fruit on this plant is called the haw, which comes from the Old English haga, meaning hedge. You can eat this fruit which is apple-like, although the seeds are poisonous so must be removed first.
The branches of the hawthorn boast beautiful blooms, which are highly decorative, and are often used to decorate various venues, homes, and bouquets, especially from the start of May when they are in season. An old saying “maying” means to gather these branches and place them above your front door in order to promote good luck as part of May Day celebrations.
Britain’s most celebrated hawthorns sit in and around Glastonbury. This location has its own variety of shrub, called C. monogyna biflora, which is unique as it blooms not once a year, but twice a year. This was once believed to be a miracle, associated with Joseph of Arimathea, who visited the village with the Holy Grail and threw his staff into the ground. The shrub has been bred in the location for centuries, with local schoolchildren still sending a branch to the Queen once a year as a tradition.
As the birth flower for May, the hawthorn is symbolic of both love and protection, making it a perfect gift to give those who celebrate their birthday in May or for those who are celebrating a special achievement. If you’re keen to make an impression this month, the hawthorn is certainly the bloom to do it!