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Convallaria majalis - L.
                 
Common Name Lily Of The Valley, European lily of the valley
Family Convallariaceae
USDA hardiness 2-7
Known Hazards All parts of the plant are poisonous[7, 10, 19]. However, the toxic principle is very poorly absorbed when taken orally so poisoning is unlikely to occur[65]. The leaves can be a mild skin irritant[22]. Overdose may lead to nausea, vomiting, stupor, colour perception disorders, and cardiac arrhythmias. Internal use preparations no longer considered safe [301].
Habitats Dry shady woodland, usually on calcareous soils[7, 13, 17], and especially in ash woodlands[4].
Range Europe, including Britain, from Scandanavia to Spain east to N.E. Asia, Greece and the Caucasus.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Wet Soil Full shade Semi-shade Full sun

Summary
Bloom Color: White. Main Bloom Time: Late spring, Mid spring. Form: Spreading or horizontal.

Convallaria majalis Lily Of The Valley,  European lily of the valley


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:390_Convallaria_majalis.jpg
Convallaria majalis Lily Of The Valley,  European lily of the valley
   
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of flower
Convallaria majalis is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.2 m (0ft 8in) by 0.3 m (1ft) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 3 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from May to June, and the seeds ripen in October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies, self.The plant is self-fertile.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay and nutritionally poor soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry moist or wet soil.

Synonyms
Convallaria bracteata. Convallaria fragrans. Convallaria latifolia. Polygonatum majale.
Habitats
Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; not Deep Shade; Ground Cover; Bog Garden;
Edible Uses
A wine can be prepared from the flowers, mixed with raisins[183].
Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Antianxiety;  Antiarrhythmic;  Anticonvulsant;  Antispasmodic;  Cardiotonic;  Diuretic;  Emetic;  Febrifuge;  
Laxative;  Poultice;  Sedative.

Lily of the valley has a long and proven reputation in herbal medicine in the treatment of heart complaints. It contains the glycosides convallarin and convallamarin which are powerful cardiac tonics and diuretics and are also used in allopathic medicine[244]. However, because of the plants potential toxic properties it should never be used without expert advice[9]. All parts of the plant are antispasmodic, cardiotonic, strongly diuretic, emetic, febrifuge, laxative and sedative[4, 7, 9, 21, 46, 165, 222, 254]. The plant is usually harvested when in flower and can be dried for later use[4], though it is stronger acting when fresh[238]. The inflorescence is said to be the most active medicinally and is often harvested separately[4]. An infusion of the flowers and roots is a digitalis substitute (obtained from Digitalis species), though less powerful, that is especially useful in the treatment of valvula heart diseases, cardiac debility, dropsy and chronic lung problems such as emphysema[4, 222, 254]. Lily of the valley encourages the heart to beat more slowly, regularly and efficiently, at the same time it is strongly diuretic, reducing blood volume and lowering blood pressure[254]. Its effect is less cumulative than digitalis which makes it safer for elderly patients[238]. It is often prescribed combined with the fruits of Crataegus spp[238]. An ointment made from the roots is used in the treatment of burns and to prevent scar tissue[222]. The German Commission E Monographs, a therapeutic guide to herbal medicine, approve Convallaria majalis : Lily Of The Valley for arrhythmia, cardiac insufficiency, nervous heart complaints (see [302] for critics of commission E).
Other Uses
Dye;  Essential.

An essential oil is obtained from the flowers[46, 171]. It is used in perfumery and for snuff[238]. A green dye is obtained from the leaves in spring[13, 14, 115]. A yellow dye is obtained from the leaves in autumn[14]. Plants can be grown as a ground cover in woodland shade or in a shrubbery[200, 208].
Cultivation details
Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Erosion control, Ground cover, Massing, Specimen, Woodland. garden Succeeds in almost any situation, including the dense dry shade of large trees[1, 4, 24]. Prefers a position in semi-shade in a moderately fertile well-drained moist woodland soil[200, 208]. Grows well in heavy clay, sand or chalky soils[208]. Dislikes pure clay soils and boggy sites[233]. Plants are hardy to -20°c or lower[200]. A polymorphic species[200]. It is a very ornamental plant, though it can become very invasive once it is established[28]. Plants can take a couple of years to become established[208]. There are several named varieties, selected for their ornamental value[233]. The flowers are sweetly scented[245]. Lily of the valley is occasionally cultivated as a medicinal plant for herbalists and allopaths. Plants seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits[233]. A good bee plant[4]. Special Features: Not North American native, Naturalizing, All or parts of this plant are poisonous, Suitable for cut flowers, Fragrant flowers.
Propagation
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe, otherwise in late winter, in a cold frame[164]. Germination, particularly of stored seed can be very slow, taking 2 - 12 months or more at 15°c[164]. Sow the seed thinly so that the seedlings can be allowed to grow on undisturbed in the pot for their first year. Apply a liquid feed during the growing season to ensure that the seedlings are well fed. Divide the young plants into individual pots when they die down in late summer and grow them on in pots in a shady position in a cold frame for at least another year before planting them out into their permanent positions when they are dormant[K]. Division in September[111]. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Aspidistra elatiorAspidistra, Cast Iron Plant02
Clintonia borealisBluebeard21
Clintonia udensis 20
Clintonia umbellulataSpeckled Wood Lily, White clintonia20
Convallaria keiskeiLily Of The Valley10
Liriope graminifoliaLilyturf21
Liriope minor 21
Liriope muscariLilyturf, Big blue lilyturf, Border Grass, Blue Lilyturf, Liriope21
Liriope spicataLily Turf, Creeping liriope, Creeping Lilyturf21
Maianthemum canadenseCanada Beadruby, Canada mayflower11
Maianthemum dilatatumWild Lily Of The Valley, False lily of the valley21
Ophiopogon japonicusSnake's Beard, Dwarf lilyturf, Mondo Grass, Monkey Grass, Dwarf Lilyturf23
Polygonatum biflorumSmall Solomon's Seal21
Polygonatum cirrhifolium 22
Polygonatum commutatumKing Solomon's Seal, Smooth Solomon's seal21
Polygonatum cyrtonema 02
Polygonatum falcatum 21
Polygonatum humile 21
Polygonatum inflatum 21
Polygonatum involucratum 20
Polygonatum kingianum 02
Polygonatum lasianthum 20
Polygonatum macropodum 21
Polygonatum maximowiczii 20
Polygonatum multiflorumSolomon's Seal, Eurasian Solomon's seal23
Polygonatum odoratumSolomon's Seal23
Polygonatum odoratum thunbergii 20
Polygonatum pubescensHairy Solomon's Seal21
Polygonatum sibiricumHuang Jing22
12
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Expert comment
 
Author
L.
Botanical References
17200
Links / References
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Readers comment
 
Elizabeth H.
MANISH GUPTA Sun Mar 2 17:22:45 2003
We are looking for seeds of Convallaria majalis
Elizabeth H.
MJS Thu Nov 15 2007
At least, from Finland you can buy them, it's national flower anyway...
Andreja P.
Jul 5 2011 12:00AM
In our country (slovenija) ther have been several death poisoning by thid plant, because people mix the leaves with edible Allium ursinum. I think that the plant is more poisonous that is mentioned in an article. But it maybe can vary depending on country.
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Subject : Convallaria majalis  

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