lily of the valley

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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.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

lily of the valley

of Finland. [Flower Symbolism: WB, 7: 264]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

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
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
(*) Convallaria majalis L.; European Lily-of-the-Valley; C = 0; BSUH 16340.
convallaria centrin/spasmin proteins to begin to address these questions.
ex Hornem) is widespread in the Far East, where the great nettle (Urtica dioica L) is widespread in Europe; northern tansy (Tanacetum boreale Fisch) is widespread instead of the common tansy (Tanacetum vulgare L), Far-East wild strawberry (Fragaria orientalis Losinsk) instead of European wood strawberry (Fragaria vesca L), Keiskei lily-of-the-valley (Convallaria keiskei Miq) instead of lily-of-the-valley (Convallaria majalis).
Leather crassifolia Bergenia crassifolia Lily-of-the-valley Convallaria majalis Epimedium or bishop's hat Epimedium macrothum Wintercreeper Euonymus fortunei English ivy Hedera helix Plantain lily Hosta decorata Creeping lily Liriope spicata Moneywort or creeping jenny Lysimachia nummularia Creeping mahonia Mahonia repens Pachysandra or Japanese spurge Pachysandra terminalis Star jasmine Trachelospermum jasminoides Periwinkle or creeping myrtle Vinca minor
windflower, blanda Greek anemone Lily-of-the- Convallaria 4-6 in.
Anemone Protoanemonin Aquilegia Columbine Glycosides vulgaris Clematis Clematis Anemonin Convallaria Lily of Cardiac glycosides majalis the Valley saponins Datura Trumpet Flower Tropane alkaloids Delphinium Delphinium Alkaloids Dicentra spp.
Plants that immediately spring to mind include hostas, Crocus tommasinianus, Convallaria majalis (lily-of-the-valley) and two evergreens - Asplenium scolopendrium (hearts tongue fern) and Iris foetidissima.
(5) A list of plants reported to be toxic specifically to budgerigars includes avocado (Persea americana), black locust (Robina pseudoacacia), clematis (Montana rubens), lily-of-the-valley (Convallaria majalis), oleander (Nerium oleander), philodendron (Philodendron scandens), poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima), Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia), and yew (Taxus media).
Using unique hardware and software designed in interdisciplinary collaboration with Experimental Nuclear Physics, Solid State Physics, and Medical Chemistry groups, it had been studied the transfer of Cs-137 from contaminated medical raw materials such as Digitalis grandiflora and Convallaria majalis to medicines.
For lovely smells go for the traditional lily-of-the-valley (Convallaria majalis), which are lovely as a small cut flower whose scent can fill a room in minutes.
Herbaceous perennials such as: Ameria, Seathrift (Armeriac maritima) Astilbe (Astilbe x aredsli) Basket of Gold (can also be used as a ground cover) Aurinia saxatillis Campanula (Campanula tomentosum) Snow in Summer (Cerastlum tomentosum) Lily of the Valley (Convallaria majalis) Sweet William (Dianthus barbatus) Cottage (and other) Pinks (Dianthus species) Coral Bell (Heucheria sanguinia) Candytuft (Iberis empervirens) evergreen Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) evergreen Moss Pink (Phlox subulata) 3.
acaulis], lilies of the valley (Convallaria majalis), and sweet vernal grass, locally named bison grass (Hierochloe [=Anthoxanthum] odorata).