FloraFinder.org
Home   About Us   Want to Help?   FAQ  
Searching   Image Use Biblio

Convallaria majalis

Convallaria majalis L.

 

Lily of the Valley, European Lily Of The Valley

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae (from Stearn’s Botanical Latin)
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassLiliopsidaMonocots (plants with a single seed leaf); includes the lily family
SubclassLiliidaeIncludes lilies, orchids, and many others
OrderAsparagalesA diverse group that includes asparagus
FamilyAsparagaceaeAgaves, asparagus, hyacinths, and others
GenusConvallaria
Speciesmajalis

About plant names...

Native to temperate regions in Asia and Europe, lily-of-the-valley may also be native to the eastern United States, though it may also have been introduced there. They are not true lilies, and are in a class by themselves. There is something almost magical in delicate appearance of the small, bell-shaped flowers. They spread into clonal colonies via their root systems.

Identification: Plants grow to 6-12" (15-30 cm) in height, consisting of one or two long, narrow leaves about 4-10" (10-25 cm) in length. 5-15 white, bell-shaped nodding flowers hang along the upper length of the flowering stalk. Each flower looks like a small bonnet. They are usually white, and sometimes pink. Berries are orange-red, ⅛-¼" (5-7 mm) in diameter. They prefer the partial shade of forest floors in temperate regions.

Convallaria majalis (Lily of the Valley, European Lily Of The Valley)

From Köhler, Franz Eugen, Medizinal-Pflantzen, Gera-Untermhaus, FE Köhler, 1887.

 

Convallaria majalis (Lily of the Valley, European Lily Of The Valley)

6/2/2008 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA
≈ 10 × 7" (25 × 17 cm)

Convallaria majalis (Lily of the Valley, European Lily Of The Valley)

5/29/2014 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA
≈ 5 × 8" (13 × 19 cm)

Convallaria majalis (Lily of the Valley, European Lily Of The Valley)

9/20/2014 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA

It is pretty hard to confuse lily of the valley and Canada mayflower, also called false lily of the valley:

  You are here
Convallaria majalis

Maianthemum canadense
Common Name

Lily of the Valley

Canada Mayflower
Plant 6-12" (15-30 cm) high 3-6" (7.6-15 cm) high
Flowers

 

5-15 white, bell-shaped flowers hanging along the length of the flowering stalk. Flowers are usually white, rarely pink.

 

Flowers are less than ¼" (6.3 mm), with four parts, stamens seemingly sticking out in all directions, on upright stems.
Leaves

 

One or two long, narrow leaves about 4-10" (10-25 cm), with tapering, sharp tips and parallel veins.
One to three leaves, heart-shaped, 2-5" (5-12 cm) long × 1-2" (2.5-5 cm) wide.
Fruit Berries are orange-red, ⅛-¼" (5-7 mm) in diameter.

 

Note young fruits (left) and mature fruits. Green or bronze at first, with dark red or brown spots, about ¹/₁₆-³/₁₆" (3-5 mm) in diameter, becoming soft and dull red.
Range/ Zones

USDA Zones: 3-8

Habitats Shaded forest floors in temperate regions Rich woods, damp mossy woods, in partial shade
Type Wild Wild
Occurrence Common Common

 

Edibility: Poisonous Skull & Crossbones Lily of the valley contains chemicals that interfere with heart operation. All parts of the plant are considered poisonous.

Online References:

Convallaria majalis on Plants for a Future, a resource and information centre for edible and otherwise useful plants

Convallaria majalis on Wikipedia

Convallaria majalis on Missouriplants.com

Convallaria majalis at Illinois Wildflowers

Convallaria majalis on SEINet—the Southwest Environmental Information Network

Convallaria majalis on eFloras

Convallaria majalis (Lily of the Valley, European Lily Of The Valley)

5/11/2010 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA
≈ 3½ × 5" (9.2 × 13 cm)

Convallaria majalis description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 16 Aug 2013.

© FloraFinder.org. All rights reserved.


 

Convallaria majalis (Lily of the Valley, European Lily Of The Valley)

5/5/2010 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA
≈ 8 × 10" (20 × 25 cm)

Convallaria majalis (Lily of the Valley, European Lily Of The Valley)

5/7/2012 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 8 × 9" (20 × 23 cm)

Convallaria majalis (Lily of the Valley, European Lily Of The Valley)

6/2/2008 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA
≈ 28 × 18" (71 × 45 cm)

Convallaria majalis (Lily of the Valley, European Lily Of The Valley)

5/30/2014 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA
≈ 18 × 12" (45 × 30 cm)

Range: Zones 3-8:

About this map...