Everyday life. Early harvest of lily-of-the-valley: will it be enough for May 1?

As tradition dictates, millions of lily-of-the-valley sprigs will be sold across France on Wednesday to mark the 1st.ahem– May and International Workers’ Day. According to a survey conducted by Valhor and France AgriMer, 42% of lily of the valley purchases are made on this single day. And this year, the producers are playing big again: the blooming of the lily of the valley must be neither too early nor too late.

Too mild weather

Except that at the beginning of 2024, the weather was particularly capricious. ‚ÄúThis winter we had mild weather and lots of water. Lily-of-the-valley emerged a little faster than expected and was never slowed down,” explains Thomas Loirat of the Departmental Committee for the Development of Market Horticulture (CCDM) in Loire-Atlantique, home to more than 80% of France’s lily-of-the-valley shoots. adult. Therefore, the producers “worked hard” and started the collection slightly ahead of time, continues this technical advisor, a lily of the valley specialist.

However, after a weekend of near-summer temperatures in mid-April, the Nantes basin benefited from “cool weather with easterly winds”. This allowed the lily of the valley to “bloom slowly” and spread the harvest over “a week and a half, or even more, instead of a week”. The consequence: most of the springs that will be on the stands on Wednesday will be “extra-fresh”, assures Thomas Loirat. As for those that were cut a little earlier, they were placed in cold storage to slow down their development before the big day.

“Less Thrushes”

“This year we have good quality because we have a strand that is long and strong, so it will hold well,” promises Thomas Loirat. Pascal Mutel, vice-president of Valhor (horticultural, floristry and landscape interprofessional) is less optimistic, mentioning “less lily of the valley this year” due to “not very favorable weather conditions”.

The lily of the valley, which is found mainly in Burgundy and the Jura mountains, is also affected. It represents about 10% of the lily of the valley sold on the 1stahem-May. But as reported ProgressTHE JSL Where DNAdue to the lack of cold, his bells have been showing for several weeks.

More expensive than last year?

Whether wild or cultivated, lily of the valley should be best bought when it is “in several stages” of flowering, advises Thomas Loirat. This allows you to enjoy it for as long as possible, from 5 days for cut stems to a maximum of 15 days for potted lily of the valley. Like any cut flower, you must first leave it in water and not expose it to heat.

On the price side, Pascal Mutel warns: consumers risk seeing “an increase compared to last year due to lower production volumes”. The Parisian florist himself bought his lily-of-the-valley “12% higher” but, he says, cut the margin so as not to penalize his customers. Last year, the French spent 19.6 million euros on the purchase of lilies of the valley, an average basket of 7.80 euros.

Leave a Comment