An often overlooked flower that perfectly translates to tattoos is the lily of the valley.
When it comes to flower tattoo styles most people think of a cherry blossom, rose or chrysanthemum. While these flowers lack the large colorful blossoms of other varieties, they make up for it with an understated elegance and slightly sweet fragrance, making them a popular choice for weddings.
The lily of the valley is also the birth month flower of May, giving it an added association with the Zodiac sign Gemini.
The lily of the valley tattoos within this gallery utilize a variety of styles and approaches that demonstrate just how lovely and versatile this white flower is.
1. Black and Gray Tattoo Designs
Black and gray tattoo work goes back to the first examples of injecting ink beneath the skin, and though centuries have passed, black and gray remains just as relevant today as it did all those years ago. While some people may find it curious to apply flowers—subjects that usually call for vibrant colors—in black and gray, lily of the valley tattoos are actually perfectly suited for this monochromatic approach.
These excellent flower tattoo designs utilize a variety of styles and methods—from cross hatching that is reminiscent of hand cut lithographs, to stylized interpretations that incorporate geometric shapes and dream elements.
2. Color Goddess Lily of the Valley Ideas
Just because lily of the valley are white doesn’t mean these flower tattoos can’t incorporate vibrant colors. In fact, one of the reasons that many people choose lily of the valley as subjects in their tattoos is for the opportunity they provide to incorporate different design elements. Another birth flower, like the rose, a chrysanthemum or daffodil can all be integrated with a lily flower in order to create a more dynamic and compelling tattoo design.
The flower tattoos in this gallery are also interesting for the variety of approaches they take. Some of the pieces use an illustrative style that brings to mind color animation while others take an American traditional approach demonstrating this style is not relegated to roses and cherry blossoms.
While the bold lines of American traditional work continues to guide modern tattooing, thanks to better equipment and talented artists, finer, more delicate work has continued to gain popularity in recent times, and lily of the valley flowers are the perfect subject for this approach.
These lovely minimalist pieces demonstrate why this style is so perfectly suited for lily of the valley: the flowers are quite delicate themselves, with several small blossoms suspended from a single whole stem.
The tattoo artists that applied these interesting pieces demonstrate that delicate doesn’t mean boring. The different approaches on display in this gallery utilize realistic shading, stylized interpretations and cartoon illustrations to demonstrate that these tattoos are more than just a few flower drawings.
4. Innovative Lily Symbolism
Good artists are always pushing the boundaries of applying tattoo inspiration.These exciting and unique lily of the valley tattoos put the creativity and skill of each tattoo artist on full display. What really sets these tattoo designs apart from other pieces in this gallery are the dynamic compositions that bring a variety of different elements into one cohesive tattoo. Animal skulls, horse shoes and antique glass display jars are all used to create a more unique and compelling idea.
These bespoke tattoos are just a taste of what is possible when a talented artist has such a lovely flower as inspiration.
The most important aspect of successful tattoo ideas is the linework. Without precise and consistent lines tattoos have little chance of standing the test of time and will more than likely end up an undefined blob. In fact, line work is so important to creating a simple yet powerful tattoo.
While this approach can work for a variety of subjects and designs it is especially well-suited for lily of the valley tattoos thanks to the distinct lily flower shape and cultural significance.
The pieces here are great examples of tattoos that would make any flower lover proud.
6. Technical Flower Tattoo Designs
Western tattoos have come a long way since the smoky back rooms and nautical themes where they began. In fact, the technical skill that is demonstrated by modern tattoo artists would undoubtedly blow the minds of artists from only a couple generations ago.
The lily of the valley tattoos on display here have all the essential elements required of exceptional tattoos: precise shading to create texture and depth, thoughtful compositions and strong line work to tie it all together.
While some people may not immediately think of these charming flowers as the best subject for exciting tattoos, these pieces show just how compelling lily of the valley tattoos can be.
7. Animals and Lily of the Valley Tattoo Art
Man’s fascination with animals goes back to the beginning of time. Some of the earliest tattoos were of animals, though not everyone chooses to get wild animals inked on their bodies. Many people choose the symbolism of getting to pets tattoos for bringing joy into their lives.
Lily of the valley flowers are the perfect ones to accompany animals in tattoos: their subtle but recognizable shape makes them excellent background work that will enhance but not overpower the focal point of a tattoo. These clean tattoos utilize a number of styles and animals—a full color weasel, black and gray dove, and an American traditional cat—that demonstrate how versatile these little flowers are.
Lily of the Valley Tattoo FAQs
What is the lily of the valley flower meaning?
Also known as the May lily, the lily of the valley has come to hold symbolic meaning around the world thanks to its sweet fragrance and white blossoms.
Within the Christian tradition, lily of the valley has gained an spiritual meaning with the resurrection of Christ thanks to the way they bloom early in spring. The distinct shape of the flowers, with their collection of small white blossoms, has also created another association in the Bible. In the stories of Eve’s expulsion by God from the Garden of Eden, Jacob’s loss of his wife and the Virgin Mary weeping for her slain son, lily of the valley represents their tears.
These charming little tattoos also hold different symbolic meaning in folk traditions across Europe. It is said that lily of the valley will protect gardens from evil and they had a history of use as a charm against witches and evil spirits in European folklore.
In Scandinavia and Germany lily of the valley is considered good luck and a sign of the coming spring, while in England these flowers are said to have sprung from the ground where the blood of St. Leonard of Sussex fell during his battle with a dragon. Thanks to their unique shape and delicate nature, lily of the valley are also said to be the cups that wood fairies drink from.
Interestingly, lily of the valley has a different meaning in some folklore and is actually associated with death and these flowers are relegated to cemeteries.
Why do people use lily of the valley in weddings?
Lily of the valley remains a popular choice for wedding flowers for a few reasons. It’s white color and tendency to bloom in spring has created strong associations with purity, chastity and modesty which were the original reason it was used in weddings. There is also an old story that tells of nightingales being guided to their mates by the strong fragrance of the lily of the valley.
Traditional ceremonies often see brides carrying lily of the valley along with the something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue. In Holland this lovely flower is planted in the garden of newlyweds as a symbol of their love.
Did you enjoy the delicate nature of the lily of the valley? Click on the links below for more birth flower tattoo galleries: