Lily of the valley
Lily of the valley (Convallaria majalis)Lily of the valley has beautiful white bell shaped flowers on a single stem. The flowers are famous for their delicious sweet perfume. Lily of the valley was also prominently present in the Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding bouquet!
Summer Flowering Lily of the Valley Bulbs
Buy Lily of the Valley bulbs (rhizomes) online from Bulbs & beyond!
Lily of the Valley is a wonderful, very sweet scented woodland flowering plant. Its botanic name is Convallaria Majalis. Lily of the Valley is native throughout the cool temperate Northern Hemisphere. Convallaria Majalis is a hardy herbaceous perennial flowering plant whose rhizomes (underground stems) spread freely underground to form extensive colonies (mat forming). Lily of the Valley is also known by a number of other common names, such as “May Lily”, “(Our) Lady’s tears”, “May bells”, “Mayflower”, “Mary’s tears” and “muguet” (French).
Lily of the Valley is a summer flowering bulb (or, as described above, rhizome), which already grows its leaves in spring, and keeps them until autumn. Convallaria Majalis’ flowering stems grow to between 15-30cm in height and are normally surrounded by one or more often two green elliptic leaves of 10-25cm long. Its lovely, extremely fragrant bell-shaped, nodding white flowers are situated on an erect but arching raceme. Usually between 5 and 15 flowers appear on the stem. Red berries follow the flowers. Lily of the Valley plants are highly toxic by ingestion.
If you want to re-live the splendour of the “Royal Wedding” then this is the flower to buy. Kate’s stunning bridal bouquet was full of Lily of the Valley! Princess Grace Kelly also chose Lily of the Valley for her bridal bouquet.
Planting Lily of the Valley rhizomes
Convallaria Majalis are usually planted between March and April and will flower in May. Green shoots will appear relatively quickly after which the anticipation for the lovely white fragrant flowers begins. Lily of the Valley loves shade and therefore you will find them often as ground cover under trees or shrubs where the rhizomes will naturalise extremely well. The rhizomes should be planted around 10cm deep and 5-10cm apart in a moist but well-drained soil.
Tip: do cut some flowers to bring indoors for a small vase, as the fragrance is simply irresistible.