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Convallaria majalis ‘Lily of the Valley’

‘Lily of the Valley’ is a well-loved traditional favorite. It is a fragrant ground cover with lovely white, bell-shaped flowers hanging from arched stems. They are best planted in a group and once established will spread rapidly. Perfect choice for planting beneath those large shade trees where the grass is difficult to grow. The leaves are up to 9″ long, 4″ across, and more or less erect; they are dark green, oval-ovate, and smooth along the margins. The blooming period occurs from late spring to early summer and lasts about 3 weeks. A slow but aggressive spreader, ‘Lily of the Valley’ will tolerate dry conditions but after blooming, the foliage will die back. Constant moisture will keep the plants green throughout the growing season. They prefer shade and will grow in most soil types.

This woodland plant is native throughout the cool temperate Northern Hemisphere in Asia and Europe and a limited native population in Eastern USA. These plants spread freely and remain lush through frost. They are extremely easy to grow and love to grow in an area of partial shade. The genus contains a single species, C. majalis, which is among the most useful ground covers for shade.


# Description Qty per Unit Units Available Price/Unit
CN102BAG Convallaria majalis 'Lily of the Valley' 50 13 $30.00

Plant Details +

Botanical Convallaria majalis
Common Name Lily of the Valley
Family Liliaceae
Size #1 pip
Height 4-6"
Spacing 18"
Hardiness Zones 4-9
Exposure Shade or well-filtered sunlight
Foliage Green
Flower White
Bloomtime May - June

General Information +

General Characteristics: This perennial plant consists of 2 leaves that are nearly basal and a single raceme of flowers. The leaf bases are attached to a short basal stalk with several sheaths. The raceme of flowers is shorter than leaves (about 6" tall) and tends to nod at its apex; there are about 6-14 flowers per raceme. The flowers usually nod downward along one side of the raceme from slender pedicels about ½" long. Both the central stalk and pedicels of the raceme are green and hairless. Each flower has a bell-shaped white corolla up to 1/3" long and across; along the outer rim of this corolla are 6 short lobes that curve outward. Within the corolla, there are 6 stamens with short filaments and a single style with a tripartite stigma. The ovary has 3 cells. The flowers are quite fragrant. Fertile flowers develop into red berries up to 1/3" across that are globoid in shape. The interior of each berry is juicy and contains several seeds. In North America, most flowers fail to produce berries. The root system is fibrous and rhizomatous. Dense colonies of vegetative plants are produced from the rhizomes; these colonies tend to exclude other species of plants. Noteworthy Characteristics: In addition to its cultivation in gardens, Lily-of-the-Valley has economic significance in the perfume and pharmaceutical industries. For the latter, it has been used as a source of heart medication. Identification of this species is easy during the blooming period because of its distinctive racemes of flowers. Lily-of-the-Valley has escaped from cultivation primarily in NE Illinois, where it is uncommon in natural areas. This species was introduced to the United States from Europe as a horticultural plant; it is often grown in gardens because of the attractive foliage and flowers. According to some authorities, there is a native form of Lily-of-the-Valley in the region of the Appalachian mountains, although it cultivated less often than the European form. In the mid-west, habitats include an upland area of a tamarack bog, rich deciduous woodlands, cemetery prairies, oak savannas near cemetery prairies, and former homestead sites. At some of these habitats, Lily-of-the-Valley was deliberately introduced and has persisted for several decades, notwithstanding long neglect.

Planting/Care Instructions +

Planting Instructions: Dig a hole large enough to encompass the roots without bending or circling. Set the plant in place so the crown (part of the plant where the root meets the stem) is about 1-2 inches below the soil surface. Cover with soil to the original soil surface and water thoroughly. The preference is dappled sunlight to medium shade, moist to moderate amount of moisture, and a rich loamy soil. Once it becomes established, this plant is long-lived and spreads slowly via its rhizomes. Transplanting is easy - dig the roots up at any time and cover with a couple inches of soil - keep moist until established then spend the rest of your time trying to beat it back. Once established it is hard to get rid of. The smallest piece of root will start the cycle all over.

Pests or Diseases: No serious insect or disease problems. It is Deer Resistant.