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Monday, 2 March 2015

Lily of the Valley Convallaria Majalis perennial ground cover plant

Best perennial ground cover plants-lily of the valley
Lily of the Valley is the National flower of Finland
When Prince William married his bride Kate Middleton at the Royal Wedding in Westminster Abbey in London, one of the five flowers in Kate's bouquet was Lily of the Valley  (Convallaria majalis).
It is a native of the more temperate parts of the northern hemisphere and can be found in some regions growing wild in the clearings of woods and forests, since it tends to do best in partial or full shade. The national flower of Finland it is sometimes commonly called Mary's tears, this is because it is said that when Jesus died his Mother Mary cried at the foot of his cross and where her tears fell Lily of the Valley grew on the ground in abundance. Interestingly the name Convallaria majalis probably gets its name from the Latin convallis meaning steep or deep valley hence 'of the valley' and the Latin word maius meaning May which perhaps points to its flowering time in that month.
Perennial white flowering Convallaria Majalis
Lily of the valley has dense roots and is very toxic
 Once established Lily of the Valley it is a prolific spreader, so is an ideal ground cover plant. However it should be noted that because of the denseness and spread of its roots, in my experience, I have found it quite difficult to dig up and remove in it's entirety so make sure when you plant it, that's where you want it. The plant is highly toxic so obviously it is not wise to ingest any of it's leaves or flowers and sensible to wear gloves and thoroughly wash hands after handling.
Digging up and splitting convallaria majalis
What is the history of lily of the valley
The berries of lily of the valley are very poisonous
 Interestingly the name Convallaria majalis probably gets its name from the Latin convallis meaning steep or deep valley
Lily of the valley sprouts single flower stalks among it's many green leaves. Each stalk usually produces 8-12 bell like white flowers that are very sweetly scented which is much of the plants appeal. There are other cultivars notably 'Rosea' which have pink flowers.  After flowering it produces green berries that ripen to orange or red fruits which are equally poisonous. Growing this plant is very easy, it will tolerate heavy clay or lighter loamy soils whether they are acid or alkaline. The only real note to mention is to plant it in a dappled shady spot which is mostly moist.
 Lily of the Valley  (Convallaria majalis). It is a native of the more temperate parts of the northern hemisphere
Pictures: 1 Westminster Abbey in London scene of the Coronations and weddings of the British Royal Family. The Abbey was begun in 1245 on the orders of King Henry III  Pictures: 2 Lily of the Valley. General discussion and your views are welcome please say hello. I regret however because of my busy schedule, I am unable to answer many questions. Sneaky advertising will be deleted sorry. Thanks so much for visiting my blog today.

2 comments:

Stella Jones said...

My mum's favourite flower and perfume. So far I have been unsuccessful in growing this gorgeous plant, but your post has inspired me to have another go.

simon tinks davis said...

Hi Stella, that's wonderful, I am so pleased this post has given you inspiration. I do hope your new attempt at growing Lily of the valley will be successful. As you say, it is such a gorgeous plant. Kind regards, Simon.