Happy May! As the familiar saying goes, ‘April showers bring May flowers.’ This idiom is a reminder that even some ‘unpleasant’ things — like too many rainy days in a row — can result in delightful things, like an abundance of flowers in May.
May is a fantastic time to venture out and explore all the blossoming flowers and other plants coming to life in this celebratory time of year. Whether you’re in the desert, by the ocean, or living in a mountain valley or a forest, everywhere you look, the Earth is covered in flowers in May.
Let’s explore some favorite early bloomers that you can appreciate this month and well into the summer.
Early Blooming Lavender (Lavandula Stoechas)
Lavandula Stoechas, or French Lavender — also known as Spanish Lavender and Butterfly Lavender — is among the earliest of all the lavender species to bloom. With distinctive purple flowers that arrive in May, this beauty’s aromatic silvery leaves are commonly used in potpourris and essential oils. This lavender loves hot weather but is a little more delicate than some of the other lavender flowers. Its multiple cycles of blooms and rejuvenating scent can be enjoyed from early spring all the way through late summer.
Royal Azalea (Rhododendron Schlippenbachii)
Rhododendron Schlippenbachii, more commonly known as Royal Azalea, is a shrub with a well-deserved reputation for fragrant spring blossoms and vibrant fall color. Besides being very attractive for us to look at and smell, this 4 to 6-foot tall flowering shrub also attracts hummingbirds, butterflies, and birds. With equally stunning flowers and foliage, this partial-shade lover will tolerate a fair amount of sun in more northern, cooler climates.
Hepatica (Hepatica Nobilis)
Hepatica Nobilis is a delightfully early small blooming evergreen herb found growing in eastern North America’s rich woodlands in May. Its flowers — usually lavender or blue but sometimes white or various shades of pink — shimmer in the sun’s rays that shine through leafless springtime trees, warming the hearts of anyone lucky enough to see them. With a fresh, delicate scent, the subtle Hepatica elegantly heralds the start of a new season.
Don’t forget to keep on passing the expression “April Showers Bring May Flowers” to the next generation. And now you can explain it too!