The Hawthorn is May's Birth Flower
Everyone knows that they have a specific birthstone that is placed in jewelry and trinkets to signify the month they were born in. However, many people don't know that just like the stones, each month has a flower or two as well, which symbolizes birth. Here is the history and meaning behind your birth flower, the hawthorn.
Alternate: Lily of the Valley
There are two different types of the Hawthorn flower. One is the Crataegus and the other is the Rhaphiolepis. The Crataegus is a large genus of shrubs and trees found in the Northern Hemisphere of Europe Asia and North America. They have small apple like fruits known as "haws".
Hawthorns provide food and shelter to many species of animals and birds, and their flowers are utilized by many nectar feeding insects. You can often find Hawthorn's lining streets as an ornamental street tree, because of its' pink and red flowers. They are also among trees most recommended for water-conservation landscapes.
Medicinally the Hawthorn is used as a herb to help lower blood pressure and to treat some related heart diseases.
The Rhaphiolepis is the Asian genus of the Hawthorn. It is found in parts of Japan, Korea, China, Thailand and Vietnam. The petals are pink or white and the plant produces small berries. The fruit can be cooked and used to make jam.
Fun and interesting fact: In Celtic lore, the hawthorn plant was used commonly for rune inscriptions along with Yew and Apple. It was once said to heal the broken heart.