World’s #1 Catholic Store
Catholic Company
Free Shipping on 75 + Sale Button
terms and conditions

 Share this article:

12 Plants Named for Our Lady and Their Pious Legends

May 18, 2017 By Gretchen Filz | 3 Comments

One of the traditional ways the faithful have venerated the Virgin Mary, which became popular during Medieval times, was with a family home or parish church Mary Garden.

Marian Gardens were small plots of ground dedicated to growing shrubs, herbs, and flowers that were representative of Mary and various events from her life. This was quite easy to do, as literally hundreds of plants were given Marian names in remembrance of Mary’s saintly life and glorious virtues.

Read more: Get Inspired to Make Your Own Mary Garden

Here are a few interesting stories about Marian plants:

  • Columbines were originally called ‘Our Lady’s Shoes’.  These flowers are said to have sprung up along Mary’s path on her way to visit her cousin Elizabeth following the Annunciation.

  • Bluebells were originally called ‘Our Lady’s Thimbles’ to honor Mary’s motherly housework as she made the clothes Jesus wore.

  • Hostas were originally called ‘Assumption Lilies’.  In late summer a tall, thin stalk emerges from the leaves eventually unfolding as a beautiful and intricate flower, a reminder of Mary’s Assumption into heaven.

Today many of these Marian plant names have been replaced with other popular names, but some Marian names, like Rosemary (Mary's nosegay) and Marigolds (Mary's gold coins), have remained. Naming plants after the faith and cultivating them in home gardens was a tangible way for Christians of days past to reflect on theological truths and cultivate faith and virtue in the heart.

The slideshow below displays the pious traditions and legends behind 12 Garden Plants Named after the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Fortunately, it is very easy to bring this classic Marian Garden tradition to your window sill, garden, flowerbed, patio, or yard.  Your Mary Garden can be large or small, fancy or simple.

All you need is a Mary garden statue and a few plants that remind you of her.  You can incorporate those mentioned in the above slideshow, or choose from this longer list of Marian plants. Place a seat next to your garden and you instantly have a beautiful, peaceful, and relaxing place to pray and reflect with our Blessed Mother. Grab your rosary or some spiritual reading, and make it a daily habit to spend time there in prayerful meditation.

Read next: Get Inspired to Make Your Own Mary Garden

Learn about the legends connected with various plants named for the Blessed Mother

This article has been updated and was originally published in May 2016. © The Catholic Company. All rights reserved. A portion of this article appeared as our guest post, Celebrate the Month of Mary with a Marian Garden, at CatholicMom.com.

 Share this article:
Recommended for you
Recommended for you
Recommended for you
Recommended for you

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Commentary by

Gretchen Filz Gretchen Filz

Gretchen is a Lay Dominican with a passion for fostering an increase in Catholic faith and devotion. After receiving her M.A. in Christian Apologetics, she converted to the Catholic Faith in 2011. She lives and works in the Diocese of Charlotte.

Read More from Gretchen Filz