Above: Lily of the Valleys. (5/24/19).
Lily of the Valley - Convallaria majalis (Garden Escapee) (Ephemeral)
Lily of the Valley is a highly poisonous woodland flowering plant with sweetly scented, pendent, bell-shaped white flowers borne in sprays in spring.
Despite its name, the flower is not a lily and is scientifically classified as part of the Asparagaceae (asparagus) family.
Convallaria majalis is an herbaceous perennial plant that forms extensive colonies by spreading underground stems called rhizomes. Lily of the Valley is native throughout the cool temperate Northern Hemisphere in Asia and Europe. However, it's a garden escapee in Wisconsin where it's considered invasive. It is slow to spread but long lived once established, forming dense colonies and crowding out native species. Lily of the Valley is toxic to both animals and humans.
The delicate white bell shaped flowers gives off a pleasant, sweet perfumed scent.
Latin name: Convallis means 'valley' and majalis means 'of the month of May'. The origins of the flower's name is biblical. Legend has it that Lily of the valley sprang from Eve's tears when she was exiled from the Garden of Eden.
Other names include: May bells, Our Lady's tears, and Mary's tears.
NOTE: Determing the difference between Convallaria majalis (European Lily-of-the-Valley) and Convallaria majuscula (American lily of the valley) is not a simple matter. In fact, there is an ungoing dispute as to whether they are truly distinct species or whether C. majuscula is a subspecies or a variety of C. majalis
Above: Lily of the Valley in woods between Marion Dunn and Duck Pond on May 25, 2020.
For more information on Lily of the Valley, visit Wikipedia.
Or, for information on Lily of the Valley visit the: Wisconsin State Herbarium.
Lily of the Valley
Meaning: means "return to happiness" and most often symbolizes chastity, purity, happiness, luck and humility.
Above: Lily of the Valley in the Oak Savanna by Council Ring in Madison, Wisconsin. (5/05/21)
Above: Lily of the Valley in the Oak Savanna in Madison, Wisconsin. (5/24/19)
Above: Lily of the Valley in Oak Savanna in Madison, Wisconsin. (5/25/19)
Above: Lily of the Valley in Oak Savanna in Madison, Wisconsin. (5/26/19)
Above: Lily of the Valley. (5/30/19)
bove: Barbaraea vulgaris botanical illustration by Dr. Otto Wilhelm Thomé circa 1885.
Above: Convallaria majalis botanical illustration by Dr. Otto Wilhelm Thomé circa 1885.
Above: 1913 illustration of Lily of the Valley (Convallaria majalis).