I thought it might be fun to write about the Flowers of the Month!
Let’s talk about May.
First, a little history.
Birth month flowers refer to certain species that are associated with each month of the year. It is said that the characteristics of each flower will pass down to the people who are born that month. You can also see them mentioned as “flowers by month” but they refer to the same thing.
The Origins of the Flowers by Month
Culturally speaking, it is important to see what flower to choose for a gift, depending on its characteristics (such as color, appearance or scent). But how did we get to offering flowers on birthdays? People think that the Romans were the first ones to use flowers to celebrate such events. They had seasonal flowers which were more than mere decorations since they offered them as gifts for people’s birthdays. As such, most likely this is how birth month flowers appeared. But let’s see what flowers fit each month!
Hawthorn, Lily of the Valley
The birth month flowers for May are the hawthorn plant and the lily of the valley. The hawthorn plant stands for hope an ultimate happiness. If you give a hawthorn to someone, this means that want the best for that person. At the same time, the lily of the valley has a strong fragrance that symbolizes humility, sweetness and even a return of happiness. They also have a romantic meaning, showing the person you give a lily to that they complete your life.
I was so surprised to read this about growing a hawthorn plant in Phoenix! Thanks to http://www.public.asu.edu/~camartin/plants/Plant%20html%20files/raphiolepisindica.html for the information (we can always count on ASU!!)
Scientific: Raphiolepis indica
Common: Indian hawthorn
Origin: India to south China
Pronounciation: Ra-fee-o-LEP-is IN-di-a
Sunset 8-10, 12-24
USDA 8 (sometimes foliage in winter is damaged by cold)-11
Landscape Use: In Phoenix, Indian hawthorn is a serviceable shrub for many types of mesic and oasis design themes such as a flowering accent, foundation plantings, border shrub, small informal hedge, tree standards (mostly seen in southern California landscapes), and bonzai.
Form & Character: Rounded, informal, clean, well behaved.
Growth Habit: Evergreen woody perennial shrub, moderate to slow growth habit ranging in height from 2 to 8 feet in height depending on cultivar.
Foliage/texture: Leathery green, dark green to sometimes burgundy red, oblong to lanceolate to 2 to 3 inches long, sometimes tinged with purple, oval leaves with sometimes crenate margins; medium texture.
Flowers & fruits: Flowers grown on many 1 to 2 inch terminal panicle clusters, individual flowers small, ranging in color from white, pink to wine red; fruit is a small black drupe borne in summer and fall.
Seasonal color: Brilliant display of flowers mostly in Phoenix during March.
Temperature: Indian hawthorn is tolerant to 10oF, but foliage is damaged if temperatures exceeds 115oF.
Light: Full sun to partial shade, not for full shade, eastern exposure best in Phoenix.
Soil: Tolerant except of high alkalinity where intervenal chlorosis will develop.
Watering: Mildly drought tolerant, but looks much better with some regular water especally during summer.
Pruning: Little, except to rarely use heading cuts to promote shape. Prune in May only after bloom.
Propagation: Seed, though vegetative softwood cuttings are best.
Disease and pests: Aphids, firelight, and bacterial leaf spot during periods of moist cool weather (like that ever happens in Phoenix).
I don’t know about you, but I’d love to have that blooming in my garden!
The lily of the valley grows mostly in the south, appreciating the humid climate, full shade and rich, dark soil. That lets us out, we desert-dwellers, whose “soil” is really caliche (gravel, sand, clay and silt).
Perhaps the most famous arrangement with lily of the valley carried this century belonged to Kate Middleton when she married Prince William.
If you are fortunate to have a May birthday, you represent the beginning of spring and blooms for both hemispheres. In the North, spring is gradually blooming into summer, while the South celebrates the beautiful colors of autumn and its harvest.
Welcome to Flowers in May!
It wouldn’t be nice of me if I didn’t mention Mother’s Day, which is celebrated the 2nd Sunday in May (this year May 14th) and Mexican Mother’s Day on May 10th. Don’t forget to order your Mother’s Day flowers early!
Tina & Pamela www.roadrunnerflorist.com
2007 W Bethany Home, Phoenix, AZ 85015
Some of this content is copied courtesy of https://everythingbackyard.net/birth-month-flowers/