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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Lily of the Valley

Lily of the Valley is a very traditional wedding flower. It is often used as the groom's boutenaire and often finds its way into the bouquet too. It is known for an exquisite fragrance.

Lily of the Valley is a shade-loving perennial that grows by spreading rhizomes (roots) under the ground. The flower makes its first appearance in spring and creates six little stamens. By September, the flower is producing sweet berries in place of the petals that are about 5-7mm in diameter. The plant grows to about 8 inches in height. The flowers are normally white, although occasionally you can find some with a pink hue to them. The Lily of the Valley originated in Europe but today are distributed widely throughout North America and Asia. This plant enjoys cooler weather and will grow best in areas of shade, especially in warmer climates.



The bell-shaped flowers give off a large scent that attracts not only people, but also bees who like to collect the pollen that the flower produces. Even though this flower is quite beautiful, all parts of this flower are quite toxic. The Lily of the Valley also has some medicinal qualities to it. For many years, the leaves and petals have been used in medicine because they contain cardiac glycosides, which is used in the treatment of heart failure.

Here we have it as a sweet monogram on a bride's hankie.

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