lily of the valley

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Related to Lily-of-the-valley: Convallaria

lily of the valley,

common name for either of the two species of Convallaria, spring-blooming perennials of the family Liliaceae (lilylily,
common name for the Liliaceae, a plant family numbering several thousand species of as many as 300 genera, widely distributed over the earth and particularly abundant in warm temperate and tropical regions.
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 family). C. majalis, the species usually in cultivation, is native to Eurasia; C. montana, a slightly larger plant, grows in the Appalachian Mts. Lilies of the valley live in shady places and have delicate bell-shaped, fragrant white flowers growing on a stalk between two shiny leaves. The plant was long used medicinally for cardiac disorders and contains poisonous substances. It is a symbol of humility in religious painting. Lily of the valley is classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
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, class Liliopsida, order Liliales, family Liliaceae.

Lily of the Valley


(Convallaria), a genus of plants of the family Liliaceae. There is one species, C. majalis, with several varieties or subspecies, which are sometimes classified as independent species. The lily of the valley is an herbaceous perennial with a horizontal rootstock and two or three oblong-oval, pointed leaves with long petioles. The flower stalk, up to 20 cm tall, has a secund loose raceme of white, fragrant, bell-shaped, drooping flowers; the perianth has six lobes. The fruit is a spherical red berry. Lilies of the valley are widely found in the European USSR, the Caucasus, Eastern Siberia, and the Far East, as well as in Western Europe and North America. They grow profusely in light forests, on forest edges, and in shrub thickets.

The species C. majalis is used as a medicinal plant. Its above-ground parts contain cardiac glycosides (chiefly convallatoxin and convallarin), which intensify the contractile activity of the heart. An infusion of the plant is used, as well as the crystalline glycoside convallotoxin and corglykon, an extract containing all the glycosides of the lily of the valley. It is cultivated as an ornamental, chiefly for forcing, but also in gardens and parks. Cultivated forms of C. majalis are large and multiflowered. Some varieties have pinkish or double flowers, and some have mottled leaves.


lily of the valley

of Finland. [Flower Symbolism: WB, 7: 264]

lily of the valley

a small liliaceous plant, Convallaria majalis, of Eurasia and North America cultivated as a garden plant, having two long oval leaves and spikes of white bell-shaped flowers
References in periodicals archive ?
Earle Richmond Burkley, carried tussie-mussies of gardenias and lily-of-the-valley.
Room to prosper: Many herbaceous perennials including colourful echinacea and bearded irises will benefit by being split every three of four years.; The right time: Lily-of-the-valley should be divided after flowering.
p HOE borders to discourage weeds and open the soil but take care to avoid slicing off shoots of perennial flowers which are late to appear, such as Solomon's seal and lily-of-the-valley. Also avoid damaging the roots of roses in case this encourages suckers to grow.
LILY-OF-THE-VALLEY has a sweet fragrance which is familiar to everyone and the pure white bell flowers have an enchanting simplicity.
Send your orders to: The People, Lily-of-the-Valley Offer, PO Box 64, South West District Office, Manchester M16 9HY.
-POT up lily-of-the-valley and keep in the dark until growth is a few inches high.
Summer progresses with honeysuckles, philadelphus (mock orange), lily-of-the-valley, day lilies, stocks and the evening scent of the lovely white tobacco flower, Nicotiana alata grandiflora.
POT lily-of-the-valley bulbs and grow them on a cool windowsill indoors for a fragrant March display.
Lily-of-the-valley is a lovely, fragrant flower but tends to spread invasively in some soils.
I'm referring to true lilies, not the day-lily, lily-of-the-valley, arum or any other kind that bears the name under false pretences, though many of those have their own merits.