The lily-of-the-valley are in full bloom. I have to admit, if there ever was a plant that could pass for being fake, lily-of-the-valley is it. No other flower I have ever grown looks and feels so much like plastic as does the stem and flowers of a lily-of-the-valley.
That is not to say that it is not a lovely flower. For many gardeners, lily-of the valley is the bane and bonus of the woodland garden in spring. On one hand, no other spring flower spreads as well or as fast as dear lily-of-the-valley. On the other hand, no other spring flower spreads as well or as fast as damn lily-of-the-valley.
It can withstand crappy soil, drought and damp, but put it anywhere but shade and the plant will die. They are technically native to Asia and Europe but have managed to make themselves quite at home nearly the world over.
Various legends are tied to lily-of-the-valley. It is said that it is the blood of St. Leonard after he slew a dragon, that they are the tears of the Mother Mary and yet others say that the very smell of this flower drives nightingales into a sexual frenzy.
Not quite sure why it was just nightingales in the legend as scientists actually proved that human sperm are excited by the smell of lily-of-the-valley. You read right people, not only can sperm smell, they like the smell of lily-of-the-valley. I don’t make this stuff up. I simply report it. You can make the perfume decisions later.
Technically, lily-of-the-valley is a poisonous plant. Of course that little fact has never stopped the herbalist of the world from trying to use it to cure something. Originally thought to cure a weak brain, in the modern era, low doses have been used to help with weak hearts. One has to wonder if that is somehow tied to the whole sperm thing.
For such an innocent looking little flower, lily-of-the-valley is certainly has an interesting biology. Maybe the fact that it looks like it is made of plastic is not an accident. Lurking in the shadows, exciting sperm, quickening hearts, they are like the floral version of a fetish queen.