First cultivated in 1420, the Lily of the Valley has a rich history. It was known as Our Lady's tears because Mary shed tears at the cross and her tears turned into this beautiful perennial. Legend has it that this flower came from the blood of St. Leonard during his fight with the dragon. Although there are many stories regarding its existence, one thing is for sure, the Lily of the Valley, signifies a return to happiness. Its history has continued through the recent past. In 1982, it became the national flower of Finland. It also is the official flower of the Phi Kappa Alpha and Kappa Sigma fraternity and sorority, respectively. Today, this flower is traditionally sold in France on May 1st.
One of the Lily of the Valley's main uses is its medicinal purpose. This is accomplished by collecting and drying the plant. It can also be used for the fragrance in olive oil and sweet almonds.
This perennial is valued as a cardiac tonic anddiuretic and recently experiments have found that it can 'force' plants by means of anaesthetics. An infusion of the flowers and roots is useful in the treatment of valvula heart diseases, cardiac debility, dropsy and chronic lung problems such as emphysema. Lily of the valley encourages the heart to beat more slowly, regularly and efficiently, at the same time it is strongly diuretic, reducing blood volume and lowering blood pressureLily of the Valley also has food uses. It is a food plant by larvae of some Lepidoptea including Grey Chi. It is also used in miso soup and can be preserved in salt or mixed with leaf tea and drunk. Finally, this flower can obviously be used as ground cover in a shrubbery.
The Lily of the Valley prefers well-drained,