May is lucky enough to have a flowering tree as one of its birth month flowers, but it also has the beautiful Lily of the Valley as an alternative. The Common Hawthorn is known as “the May Tree,” and though the blooms it produces are quite beautiful, the scent sure isn’t. In fact, the flowers produce trimethylamine, which is also one of the first chemicals released by decaying animal tissue.
So, if that’s the case, how did it become a May birth flower? The history is quite fascinating, and it goes back to the celebration of May Day.
Chaucer documents many occasions where characters would venture out to collect Hawthorn blossoms and leaves with which to make garland for May Day festivities. Thus, this stinky flower actually represents love!
On the other hand, the Lily of the Valley has such a beautiful smell, it is a common note in perfume!
Originally native to China, the French have known of the Lily of the Valley since as far back as the Middle Ages. The legend goes that Apollo, the god of Mount Parnassus, created Lily of the Valley so the nine muses could walk on a green carpet without harming their feet.
This flower has a bell-shaped flower with a delicate scent, but it is poisonous if put in the month, so don’t eat this one!
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Common Hawthorn Season Often Aligns With May Birthdays
There are a variety of Hawthorn trees blooming at various times throughout the year. And though not all birth flowers bloom during the season to which they are connected, the Common Hawthorn generally does.
The bunches of white blooms will emerge in late spring (often in May). The leaves look similar to oak leaves and will turn a yellowish-orange in the fall before falling.
Because Common Hawthorn Is A Flowering Tree, Delivery Options Are Limited
Common Hawthorns are flowering trees, and trees can be a challenging gift to give. They are even harder to deliver. For this reason, they are not a great gift to give as a live plant.
Additionally, because they don’t smell all that great, your gift recipient may not actually want a Common Hawthorn in or around their home.
Looking at the other May flower, the Lily of the Valley, you’ll see that the flower is quite small and dainty. As a result, it takes many of them to make a bouquet, so the cost can become pricey quite quickly.
The best course of action here is to look into silk alternatives if you wish to give a gift that looks like a live pant.
Artificial Common Hawthorn Aren’t A Common Flower So The Alternative Lily Of The Valley Might Be Better For May Birthdays
Since Common Hawthorns are stinky, and real Lily of the Valley bouquets are costly, consider a silk alternative.
This minimalist silk bouquet is not only reasonably priced, but it is also quite beautiful. This minimalist design will fit easily among nearly any home’s current decor, and since minimalism is seeing quite the comeback, it is also very trendy.
Sitting at just over a foot, this plant will add a bit of beauty to any room your gift recipient decides to add it to. The best part about an artificial, silk plant is that your gift recipient cannot kill it.
If they don’t have a green thumb, they don’t need to worry about destroying their gift or even upsetting any allergies. Instead, they just get to enjoy the beauty of this realistic little flower.
Incorporate Lily of the Valley Into Your Birthday Gift – Without Giving Flowers
Though there aren’t a lot of jewelry options featuring the Common Hawthorn, the Lily of the Valley does show up in a lot of jewelry. This lovely, sterling silver necklace features not only the Lily of the Valley but also the May birthstone, the Emerald!
This dainty necklace comes on a 20-inch sterling silver box chain and is produced in the United States. This beautiful necklace is handcrafted in Quincy, Florida by the artist Lucina K. Your purchase will arrive with the pendant, box chain, a branded gift box, story card, and artist bio.
This gift is like a work of art your gift recipient can wear.
Common Hawthorn-themed Clothing Isn’t Very Common, But Lily of the Valley Clothing Abundant
Although the Common Hawthorn isn’t terribly common as a featured item on clothing, the Lily of the Valley has many options. This Amazon search brings up several items like broaches, t-shirts, and even masks.
You’ll be sure to find something that fits your gift recipient here. Most of the t-shirt options have a lovely botanical rendering of the flower that makes for a simple, beautiful design.
Lily Of The Valley Lotion Is A Better Option Than Common Hawthorn Lotion
We’ve well established that the Common Hawthorn doesn’t smell great, but the Lily of the Valley does, so the flower to search for here is pretty straightforward.
A lotion gift for your May birthday baby would be a lovely option because it will give your gift recipient the smell of the Lily of the Valley all year, long past May. This Yardley London Lily of the Valley lotion is a great option, and there is even a bath wash to match it!
A Lily of the Valley Candle Is A Lovely Gift For May Birthdays
Candles make great gifts, and the Lily of the Valley makes a wonderful scent in a candle. This lavender candle is a beautiful option with notes of French Lavender, Italian Bergamot, Eucalyptus, Blue Mountain Sage, Vetiver, Clove, Nordic Pine, Camphor, and, of course, Lily of the Valley.
With such a delicate smell, the Lily of the Valley works well with these other notes to create a beautifully scented candle.
There are many beautiful ways to include the Lily of the Valley in your gift. What are some of your favorite gifts for someone born in May? As always, we’d love to know! Please connect with us in the comment section below.