Convallaria Majalis

Convallaria majalis, commonly known as the Lily of the Valley or Lily-of-the-Valley, is the only species in the genus Convallaria in the flowering plant family Ruscaceae, formerly placed in the lily family Liliaceae or in its own family called Convallariaceae. This woodland plant is native throughout the cool temperate Northern Hemisphere in Asia and Europe and a limited native population in Eastern USA [1] (Convallaria majalis var. montana.) It is a herbaceous perennial plant that forms extensive colonies by spreading underground stems called rhizomes that send out stolons. These send up numerous stems each spring. The stems grow to 15-30 cm tall, with one or two leaves 10-25 cm long, flowering stems have two leaves and a raceme of 5-15 flowers on the stem apex. The flowers are white tepals(rarely pink), bell-shaped, 5-10 mm diameter, and sweetly scented; flowering is in late spring, in mild winters in early March. The fruit is a small orange-red berry 5-7 mm diameter that contains a few large whitish to brownish colored seeds that dry to a clear translucent round bead 1 to 3 mm wide. Plants are self-sterile, and colonies of one clone do not set seed.[2]

There are three subspecies [3] that have sometimes been separated out as distinct species by a few botanists.

  • Convallaria majalis var. keiskei - from China and Japan with red fruit and bowl shaped flowers
  • Convallaria majalis var. majalis - from Eurasia with white midribs on the flowers.
  • Convallaria majalis var. montana - from the USA with green tinted midribs on the flowers.


  1. Flora of North America : Convallaria majalis
  2. Life-history monographs of Japanese plants. 6: Convallaria keiskei Miq. (Convallariaceae) Authors: OHARA, MASASHI; ARAKI,KIWAKO1; YAMADA, ETSUKO1; KAWANO, SHOICHI Source: Plant Species Biology, Volume 21, Number 2, August 2006, pp. 119-126(8)Publisher: Blackwell Publishing
  3. Flora of China: Convallaria majalis

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



Lily of the Valley


Homepage Products Services Help About Us Site Map