Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Lily of the Valley

A small genus of groundcover perennials that are part of the much larger Liliacaea ( Lily ) family. They are deer resistant. Lily of the Valley can be used to line woodland pathways or as groundcover ...recommended to plant them 1 foot apart. They can be propagated from dividing the rhizomes during mid-autumn or early spring. A stem bearing 2 leaves grows from each rhizome eye. When dividing the clumps, be careful to leave at least 1 eye on each rhizome division piece which should then be planted at the same depth it was originally.
Insect pests and disease problems are rare, and they tolerate drought and tree root competition. Lily of the Valley is also deer resistant.

Convallaria keiskei
Similar to Convallaria majalis but is native to eastern Russia, Mongolia, China, Korea and Japan rather than Europe. It forms a groundcover perennial, reaching up to 1 x 4 feet.

Convallaria majalis ( Lily of the Valley )
A very attractive, very long lived, rhizomatous, fast spreading but not invasive perennial. After many years plants can spread to form a clump up to 1 x 4 feet in size though can be easily contained. It is a widespread native of Eurasia ( from the British Isles to Russia; south to the Alps to northeastern Turkey to the Caucasus )
The vertically-veined, broad-elliptical leaves, up to 12 x 4 ( rarely over 10 ) inches, are glossy deep green. The leaves are paired on the stem.
The strongly-fragrant, nodding, white, bell-shaped flowers, up to 0.3 inches wide, are borne on drooping racemes during mid to late spring.
They are followed by shiny orange or red berries up to 0.3 inches wide.
Hardy zones 1 to 7 in partial to full shade, preferring well drained, acidic, fertile, moist soil. Applying a layer of organic compost at the end of autumn is like rocket fuel for growth the following year. Propagation is from division, replanting the rhizomes shallow but firm during autumn.

* photo taken on annual Horticultural Society of Maryland Garden Tour - June 6 2010

* photos taken on May 8 2011 in Columbia, MD

* photos of unknown internet source

* photos taken on May 17 2012 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on May 26 2013 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on May 2 2014 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Nov 10 2014 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on May 9 2015 in Elkridge, MD

* photo taken on May 12 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on May 16 2017 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on June 15 2017 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Jul 19 2017 @ Rideau Hall, Ottawa, ON

* photo taken on May 6 2018 in Columbia, MD

Leaves striped white along the veins.

* photo of unknown internet source

Foliage is narrowly striped yellow along the veins

'Floro Pleno'
Double white flowers.

* photos taken on May 4 2017 in Columbia, MD

'Fortin's Giant'
Vigorous selection reaching up to 20 inches in height, with wider foliage and larger flowers.

'Hardwick Hall'
Reaching up to 10 inches in height with broad, deep green foliage margined pale greenish-yellow.

Pink flowers; otherwise identical.

* photos taken on May 7 2014 @ London Town Gardens, Edgewater, MD

'Rosea Plena'
Double pink blooms.

'Vic Pawlowski's Gold'
Leaves closely striped light yellow or white.

Convallaria majuscula ( American Lily of the Valley )
Similar to C. majalis but is native to the mountains in the eastern U.S. ( from eastern Kentucky to western Virginia; south to northern Georgia to western North Carolina ).


  1. would you have a source for the double pink form-Convallaria rosea plena??I'm also looking for a spotted form...happy spring to you! Brian

  2. Unfortunately here in Maryland 99.9% of the Lily of the Valley I see are the traditional form ( which is still nice ). I have seen some 'Albostriata' in private gardens but not for sale. Even Kurt Bluemel in Maryland only carries the traditional form and their selection of rare perennials is massive.
    In Canada and New England ( and especially in Europe ) the above cultivars may be more available in the landscape trades.