Friday, 1 May 2015

Mayday Mayday

It's traditional in France to give friends and family Lily of the Valley Convallaria majus on 1 May as a good luck token. However, since all parts of the plant are highly toxic, I'm not so sure about the symbology!

Lily of the Valley is chock full glycosides that it makes in order to dissuade herbivores. The glycosides causes the heart rate to slow and even small quantities of the plant ingested can result in vomiting and disrupt heart function.

7 comments:

Ken Broadhurst said...

You're not supposed to eat it!

Tim said...

LOL...
strange tastes the Aussies!!

Susan said...

Indeed, but the semiotics amuse me...

Ken Broadhurst said...

Then you must love the red poppies the British are so fond of in November.

Tim said...

You must mean the strange papery-petalled things....
with plasticky stems that seem to grow best indoors....
on paper shop and bar counters!
Thems be getting rarer thems is!!

Susan said...

Whichever way you look at it Field Poppy Papaver rhoes is the perfect symbol for remembering WWI.

Ken Broadhurst said...

And evidently the muguet is perfect for marking the 1er mai, because that's when it flowers. According to legend, the tradition goes back to the Renaissance.

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