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The Annunciation

Common Name: Madonna Lily

Botanical Name: Lilium candidum

Mary Garden Name: Annunciation Lily

White lilies are often seen in paintings of the Annunciation, and traditionally represent purity

Photo: Wikimedia


The Visitation

Common Name: Columbine

Botanical Name: Aquilegia vulgaris

Mary Garden Name: Mary’s Shoes

Blooms in June or July

The story is told that Columbine flowers sprang up under Mary’s shoes when she went to visit her cousin Elizabeth. The flowers are called “Mary’s Shoes” or “Mary’s Slippers” because of this tale.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons


The Nativity

Common Name: Grass Lily

Botanical Name: Ornithogalum umbellatum

Mary Garden Name: Star-of-Bethlehem

Blooms in early spring

Legend tells us that the star that led the three wise men to Bethlehem stopped at its destination and burst into thousands of fragments, which turned to flowers when they touched the earth.

Photo: Wikimedia

The Presentation

Common Name: Snowdrops

Botanical Name: Galanthus nivalis

Mary Garden Name: Candlemas Bells

Photo: Wikimedia


The Finding in the Temple

Common Name: False Dragonhead

Botanical Name: Physostegia virginiana

Mary Garden Name: Obedient Plant

Photo: Wikimedia


The Baptism of Our Lord

Common Name: Columbine

Botanical Name: Aquilegia (white)

Mary Garden Name: Mary’s Shoes

The petals of columbine flowers are said to resemble doves, representing the Holy Spirit.

Photo: Wikimedia

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The Wedding at Cana

Common Name: Common Grape

Botanical Name: Vitis vinifera

Mary Garden Name: Wine Grape

Jesus performed His first miracle at the Wedding at Cana, turning water into wine.

Photo Credit: Allison McGinley


The Proclamation of the Kingdom

Common Name: Black Mustard

Botanical Name: Brassica nigra

Mary Garden Name: Mustard Flower

The tall mustard plant, which grows from a tiny seed, is a symbol of the Kingdom of Heaven.

Photo: Wikimedia


The Transfiguration

Common Name: Goldenrod

Botanical Name: Solidago

Mary Garden Name: Heavenly Radiance

Imagine the radiance that surrounded Jesus when He was transfigured on that mountain, appearing with Moses and Elijah! Goldenrod is also known as “Heavenly Radiance” and is traditionally associated with this mystery.

Photo: Wikimedia


The Institution of the Eucharist

Common Name: Money Plant

Botanical Name: Lunaria annua

Mary Garden Name: Honesty

The seed pods of the Money Plant are symbolic of the Eucharist.

Photo: Wikimedia


The Agony in the Garden

Common Name: St. John’s Wort

Botanical Name: Hypericum perforatum

Mary Garden Name: Christ’s Bloody Sweat

The red dots on the St. John’s Wort flowers symbolize Christ’s bloody sweat, which He experienced while praying in the garden at Gethsemane.

Photo: Wikimedia

The Scourging at the Pillar

Common Name: Yarrow

Botanical Name: Achillea millefolium

Mary Garden Name: Christ’s Bloody Back

The flat, red clusters of Yarrow flowers symbolize the bloody lashes on Christ’s back after His scourging at the pillar.

Photo: Wikimedia


The Crowning with Thorns

Common Name: Christ Thorn

Botanical Name: Euphorbia splendens

Mary Garden Name: Crown of Thorns

These thorny stems might be as prickly as the crown of thorns that was put on Jesus’ head before He was crucified.

Photo: Wikimedia


The Carrying of the Cross

Common Name: Jockey's Cap Lily

Botanical Name: Tigridia pavonia

Mary Garden Name: Christ’s Bloody Knee

Jesus fell--three times--while carrying the cross. The Tigridia flower resembles a knee with a bloody wound, much like Christ’s knees might have looked while carrying the cross.

Photo: Wikimedia


The Crucifixion

Common Name: Maypop

Botanical Name: Passiflora incarnata

Mary Garden Name: Passion Flower

The Passion Flower represents Christ’s scourging, crowning with thorns, and the crucifixion. Each different part of the plant has different symbolism and significance--find a full list here and see if you can identify the different parts of the flower.

Photo: Wikimedia


The Resurrection

Common Name: Easter Lily

Botanical Name: Lilium longiflorum

Mary Garden Name: Resurrection Lily

The Easter Lily lies dormant all winter, bursting into bloom during the summer when the weather is warm.

Photo: Wikimedia

The Ascension

Common Name: Sword Lily

Botanical Name: Gladiolus

Mary Garden Name: Ladder to Heaven

Jesus didn't climb a ladder to get to Heaven, but the way this flower points straight up to Heaven makes us think of His Ascension.

Photo: Wikimedia


The Descent of the Holy Spirit

Common Name: Holy Ghost Orchid

Botanical Name: Peristeria Elata

Mary Garden Name: Flower of the Holy Spirit

If you look inside this special flower, you can see a dove when it begins to bloom. The Holy Spirit is often represented by a dove in Scripture.

Photo: Wikimedia

The Assumption of Our Lady

Common Name: Plantain Lily

Botanical Name: Hosta plantaginea

Mary Garden Name: Assumption Lily

The white lily represents the purity of Our Lady, who was taken to Heaven, body and soul, to be with her Son.

Photo: Wikimedia


The Crowning of Mary Queen of Heaven

Common Name: Marigold

Botanical Name: Calendula

Mary Garden Name: Mary's Gold

After a heavenly vision, Saint Hildegard dedicated the Calendula to Mary, naming it “Mary’s Gold” -- the original Marigold!

Photo: WIkimedia