May Day is thought to symbolise the transition between spring and summer and the celebrations held every year are believed to bless crops and planting with good luck for the coming months.
Below we have a list of the flowers you can find during May. Common spotted orchid, broad-leaved hellebore and apple blossoms should all start making an appearance in May and you may even find them growing in your own back garden.
Acacia (Mimosa) – Tiny petal-less yellow flowers cover the stems
Achillea (Yarrow) – Very popular as a dried flower
Aconitum (Monkshood) – Tall spiky flowers, long lasting but poisonous.
Agapanthus (African Lily) – Long lasting, large striking flowers
Alchemilla (Lady’s Mantle) – Common as a garden flower, masses of tiny yellow-green flowers, ideal as a filler
Allium (Flowering Onion) – Several types, some have large globe shaped flower, others much smaller bullet shaped flowers.
Alstroemeria (Peruvian Lily) – Very popular and long lasting flowers, often bi-coloured
Amaryllis (Hippeastrum) – Large very striking trumpet shaped flowers, often grown indoors from bulbs
Ammi (Queen Anne’s Lace) – Masses of delicate white flowers, ideal as a filler
Anemone (Windflower) – Delicate, papery flowers, available in vibrant and pale colours
Anethum (Dill) – Masses of tiny yellow flowers and a strong scent, used as a filler
Anigozanthus (Kangaroo Paw) – Unusual furry buds with insignificant flowers. Ideal for modern arrangements.
Anthurium (Painter’s Palette) – Exotic waxy looking flowers.
Antirrhinum (Snapdragon) – More common as a garden flower
Aranthera (Scorpion Orchid) – Long lasting orchid with small flowers on upright stems
Asclepias (Milkweed) – Clusters of tiny flowers, ideal as a filler
Aster (Michaelmas Daisy) – Popular filler with daisy like flowers on upright stems
Arachnis (Spider Orchid) – Long stems with slender petalled and spotted flowers
Astilbe (False Goat’s Beard) – Common as a garden flower, insignificant flowers used mainly as a filler
Astrantia (Stinkwort) – Grown as a garden flower. Small, round, delicate flowers, ideal as a filler
Banksia (Bottlebrush) – Exotic Protea from Australia, large flower heads made up of masses of tiny flowers
Bouvardia – Clusters of small tubular flowers, use with special flower food. Not all colours are available throughout the year
Bupleurum – Insignificant yellow green flowers. Used more as a foliage and as a filler
Marigold (Calendula) – Popular daisy-like flower with a country garden feel
Calla Lily (Zantedeschia, Arum Lily) – Striking single flowers.The coloured varieties are smaller than the white ones, and not all colours are available all year round
Callistephus – Dense headed flowers with contrasting coloured centres
Campanula (Canterbury Bells) – Quite large bell shaped flowers, several to a stem
Carnation – Very long lasting. Some new more interesting colours are now available
Carthamus (Safflower) – Unusual slightly thistle like flowers
Spray Carnation – Long lasting flowers. Some more interesting colours becoming available
Cattleya orchid – Large brightly coloured orchids, usually 1 or 2 per stem
Celosia (Cockscomb) – Different varieties, some with crinkled ‘brain-like’ flowers others with feathery upright plumes.
Cornflower (Centaurea) – Usually available as the well known blue cornflower, other colours are sometimes available
Cestrum – Dense clusters of flowers at the top of straight stems
Ginger (Alpinia) – Large striking tropical flowers
Waxflower (Chamaelaucium) – Small scented flowers ideal as fillers, sold in bud and in flower
Chrysanthemum – Available as large individual showy blooms, or the spray variety. Very long lasting
Cirsium – Look a bit like pink thistles, which open out into pompom shaped flowers
Craspedia – Small completely round flower head made up of lots of tiny yellow flowers
Crocosmia – Tall spiky flowers generally known as Montbretia when grown as a garden flower.
Curcuma – Tropical looking flower on tall straight stems
Cymbidium Orchid – Striking flowers, which flower profusely with up to 12 flowers on each stem
Cynara (Artichoke) – The flower of the artichoke
Delphinium – Tall flower spikes. Also, Larkspur which is a type of delphinium.
Dendrobium orchid (Singapore orchid) – Long lasting orchids with several blooms on each erect stem
Eremurus (Foxtail Lily) – Large dramatic flowers, usually yellow or orange, with other colours less commonly available
Eryngium ( Sea Holly) -Blue thistle like flowers, sometimes the blue is so intense it is hard to believe they are not dyed.
Eucharis (Amazon Lily) – Beautiful slightly downward facing delicate flowerheads on tall straight stems
Eupatorium – Insignificant small flowers, used as a filler
Forget-me-not (Myosotis) – Tiny very fragile pastel blue flowers on short stems.
Freesia – Highly popular, highly scented flowers
Fritillaria – Exotic looking flowers which hang downwards in a cluster on top of tall straight stems
Gerbera – Large daisy like flowers, a smaller ‘Germini’ variety is also available
Gladiolus – Fairly traditional flower used in large arrangements. Miniature varieties are becoming increasingly popular
Gloriosa (Glory Lily) – A very dramatic flower with yellow edged cerise petals. The National Flower of Zimbabwe.
Godetia – Several brightly coloured trumpet shaped flowers open up each stem
Gomphrena (Globe amaranth) – Small globe shaped flowers which can be easily dried.
Gypsophila – Very popular filler flower. New smaller-flowered varieties are now available
Heliconia – Tropical flower with large very dramatic flowerheads. Several different types available
Hydrangea – A popular garden shrub with enormous flowerheads. Cultivated hydrangea come in interesting colours.
Hypericum (St John’s Wort) – Attractive berries rather than flowers make this a very popular filler
Iris – Very popular but short lived flowers.
Ixia (African Corn Lily) – Delicate flowers which belong to the same family as gladioli
Kniphofia (Red hot poker) – Large dramatic upright flowerspikes
Leucadendron (Safari Sunset) – It is the leaves rather than the flowers which make this popular
Leucanthemum – Large daisy like flower
Leucospermum (Pincushion Protea) – Large flowerheads which resemble a pin cushion. Long lasting
Lily – Available throughout the year, but if you are looking for a particular colour check availability with your florist
Liatris – Tall poker shaped purple flowers.
Lilac – A common shrub and highly popular, strongly scented cut flower
Lily of the Valley (Convallaria) – Tiny bell shaped flowers on short stems. Very popular in wedding flowers.
Limonium (Sea Lavender, Statice) – Popular as a dried flower, all varieties make good fillers, but it can have an unpleasant smell!
Lisianthus (Eustoma) – Popular flowers which open from tightly swirled buds, bi-coloured varieties also available
Lysimachia (Loose Strife) – Arching flowerheads on the end of the stems, each made up of a mass of tiny flowers
Matthiola (Stock) – Fantastic vibrant colours and an incredible scent.
Moluccella (Bells of Ireland) – Tall stems with a mass of bell shaped flowers.
Muscari (Grape hyacinth) – Very small with short stems and clusters of tiny blue flowers
Nigella (Love-in-the-Mist) – Delicate papery flowers common in the garden. Also attractive as seed heads.
Oncidium orchid (Golden Shower Orchid) – Lots of small yellow flowers along the stem. Miniature hybrids are available in colours other than yellow.
Ornithogalum Chincherinchee – Fantastically long lasting flower, usually white and less commonly available in yellow.
Paphiopedilum orchid (Slipper orchid) – Very large dramatic orchid flowers
Peony – Enormous and extravagant flowers only available for a short season
Phalaenopsis orchid (Moth Orchid) – Large showy flowers, popular as a pot plant as well as a cut flower especially for weddings
Phlox – English country garden flower. Very popular
Papaver (Poppy) – Fantastic papery flowers in great colours. Short lived but worth it. The seed heads are also popular.
Protea – Large exotic flowers with many different varieties
Ranunculus – Small delicate, papery flowers.
Rose – Needs no description! Almost every colour available except true black or blue
Rudbeckia – Daisy like flower, usually sold without any petals, just the pincushion like centre
Saponaria – A good filler flower, a bit like gypsophila but the flowers are bigger
Scilla – Masses of blue flowers on short stems, a bit like bluebells
Solidago – A popular yellow filler flower.
Solidaster – A cross between Solidago and the Aster. Used as a filler.
Stephanotis (Wax flower) – Not generally available as a cut flower, but the individual small, waxy, white flowers are often used in bridal work
Strelitzia (Bird of Paradise) – Unmistakable large and exotic flowers with blue and orange flowers.
Sunflower (Helianthus) – Striking, large daisy like flowers, usually yellow but more unusual rusty colours are becoming available
Sweet pea (Lathyrus) – Wonderful colours and scents, short lived but stunning en masse and well worth it.
Sweet William – A country garden flower, with dense clusters of flowers on each stem
Tanecetum – A type of chrysanthemum with small button shaped flowers.
Trachelium – Masses of tiny flowers create a large flat flowerhead.
Triteleia Brodiaea – Loose clusters of delicate blue flowers on erect leafless stems.
Tuberose (Polianthes) – Higly scented flowers on tall stems.
Veronica (Speedwell) – Delicate flower spikes add contrast to arrangements.
Viburnum – Short lived but increasingly popular. Each flowerhead is made up of a mass of tiny flowers
Vanda – Usually 6 – 8 blooms per flower stem, The petals often have a marbled appearance.
Vuylstekeara – A hybrid orchid, with highly patterned petals