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12 Garden Plants Named after the Blessed Virgin Mary


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“I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys.” (Song of Solomon 2:1)

In the days of great faith during the Middle Ages, the Christian faithful honored the Blessed Virgin Mary in many ways, especially as the mother of nature and all living things. Closely connected with what grows from the earth as their livelihood, they saw Mary's attributes in the plants and flowers of their fields and gardens and named many of them after her - thousands of them. Legends about the flowers developed as people sought to connect them with Mary's virtues or events from her life. People also planted "Mary Gardens" and filled them with these plants named for Our Lady. These gardens were designed to be places of beauty, prayer, and contemplation that raises the heart and mind to heaven.

Featured in this slideshow are just 12 among the many plants named for the Blessed Mother.

You can find more information on Mary Gardens here: and here: You can find a great selection of religious garden gifts to plant your own MaryGarden at The Catholic Company here:

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12 Garden Plants Named after the Blessed Virgin Mary

  1. 1. 12Flowers that speak of Our Lady
  2. 2. OUR LADY'S Flowers Presenting In an age of greater love for the Christian faith, nature was seen to praise the virtues of heaven's saints - especially the Blessed Virgin Mary. Here are just twelve of the thousands of plants the faithful have named after the Queen of Heaven and Earth, and the pious beliefs they associated with them.
  3. 3. VIOLET O u r L ad y's M o d es ty
  4. 4. VIOLET The Pious Legend Mary's Modesty This low-lying plant was often associated with humility and became known as Our Lady's Modesty. It was said to have blossomed when the Virgin Mary said to the Angel Gabriel at the Annunciation, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord."
  5. 5. COLUMBINE O u r L ady 's S li p per s
  6. 6. COLUMBINE The Pious Legend Mary's Slippers The spurred flower of this plant resembles a little dove and came to symbolize the Holy Spirit. Columbine is said to have sprung up wherever Mary’s foot touched the earth as she was on her way to visit her cousin, Elizabeth, at the Visitation.
  7. 7. OX-EYE DAISY Ou r L ady ’s Star
  8. 8. OX-EYE DAISY The Pious Legend Mary's Star When the Wise Men reached the village of Bethlehem, they looked for a further sign. Suddenly King Melchior saw a strange white and gold flower that looked like the star that had led them to Bethlehem. As he bent to pick it, the door of a stable opened and he saw the Holy Family.
  9. 9. SNOWDROP O u r L ady 's P u r it y
  10. 10. SNOWDROP The Pious legend Mary's Purity Snowdrops were called the Flower of Purification because they bloomed in early February near the Feast of the Purification of Mary. Also called Candlemas Bells, this was also the day of the Presentation of Baby Jesus in the Jerusalem temple.
  11. 11. JUNIPER O u r L a d y's Sh e l te r
  12. 12. JUNIPER The Pious Legend Mary's Shelter It is said that the juniper bush saved the life of the infant Jesus during the Holy Family's flight into Egypt. As the soldiers pursued them, a juniper bush growing nearby opened up its thick branches to provide them hiding and shelter until the soldiers left.
  13. 13. MARIGOLD O u r L a d y's G o ld
  14. 14. MARIGOLD The Pious Legend Mary's Gold It is said that during the Holy Family's flight to Egypt they were accosted by robbers. When they opened Mary's purse they found these buds. In medieval days the poor would leave marigold blossoms at the feet of Our Lady instead of gold coins. The flower also symbolizes the rays of light that surround the Blessed Virgin in her glory.
  15. 15. SEA PINK - THRIFT O u r L ady 's C u sh io n
  16. 16. SEA PINK - THRIFT The Pious legend Mary's Cushion It is said that on their flight into Egypt, these soft blossoms became a seat cushion for the Blessed Virgin Mary to rest upon, weary from her travels.
  17. 17. FUSCHIA O u r L a d y's Ea r -D r o p s
  18. 18. FUSCIA The Pious legend Mary's Ear-Drops The gently drooping flowers resemble ear-drops, or pendant earrings. It is said that the Child Jesus, while at play, hung these flowers on his mother's ears.
  19. 19. LILY OF THE VALLEY O u r L a d y's Tea r s
  20. 20. LILY OF THE VALLEY The Pious Legend Mary's Tears When viewed from a distance, the white flowers of this plant give the appearance of teardrops falling. It was said that when Mary wept at the foot of the Cross, her tears fell to the ground and turned into the tiny fragrant blossoms of this early spring plant.
  21. 21. IRIS - SWORD LILY O u r L a d y's So r r ow s
  22. 22. IRIS - SWORD LILY The Pious legend Mary's Sorrows The Iris, also known and the Sword Lily, has a shape that symbolizes the swords of sorrow which pierced Mary's heart on account of her Divine Son. This flower is the pattern of the Fleur-di-Lis symbol of Our Lady.
  23. 23. ASSUMPTION LILY O u r L ady 's A s s u m pt io n
  24. 24. ASSUMPTION LILY The Pious legend Mary's Assumption The Assumption Lily blossoms in August near the Feast of the Assumption with a tall flower that reaches up to the sky. It is said that when the body of Our Lady was assumed into heaven, left behind in the tomb were white lilies and roses.
  25. 25. ROSE th e M y s ti cal R o s e
  26. 26. ROSE The Pious legend Mary the Mystical Rose The Virgin Mary is associated with the biblical Rose of Sharon. As the rose is considered the queen of all flowers, it is closely associated with Mary, Queen of Heaven and Earth. It is said that the ancient white Rosa Alba turned pink when Mary blushed at the angel's greeting at the Annunciation.
  27. 27. MAKE YOUR OWN M a r y G ar d e n
  28. 28. Feeling Inspired? Because Faith Matters Shop Religious Garden Gifts at While pious legends, these stories convey deeper spiritual realities that are, nevertheless, true. Incorporate these plants into your Mary Garden to create a prayerful place of meditation at home.
  29. 29. The Catholic Company Because Faith Matters