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Convallaria majalis AGM

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© RHS 2003

Characteristics

Plant type

Herbaceous Perennial

Habit

Mat forming

Fragrance

Flower

Toxicity

Highly toxic by ingestion

Resilience

Hardiness

H7 (very hardy)

Colour

Flower

White in Spring

Foliage

Green in Autumn, Spring and Summer

Fruit

Red in Summer

Size

Ultimate height

0.1-0.5 metres

Ultimate spread

0.1-0.5 metres

Time to ultimate height

2-5 years


Preferred common name

lily of the valley

Family

Asparagaceae


Convallaria are rhizomatous perennials with elliptic to narrowly ovate leaves and arching racemes of small, highly fragrant, bell-shaped flowers followed by red berries

C. majalis is a perennial to 25cm in height, forming extensive colonies. Erect racemes of nodding, bell-shaped, fragrant white flowers arise with the paired, elliptic leaves

Other common names

  • conval lily
  • lady's tears
  • liriconfancy
  • May bells
  • May lily
  • mayflower
  • mugget
  • Our Lady's tears
  • word lily

How to grow

Sunlight

  • Part shade
  • Full shade

Aspect

  • East-facing, West-facing or North-facing
  • Sheltered

Cultivation

Grow in a fertile, humus-rich moist soil in full or partial shade. Top dress with leaf mould in autumn.

Soil

  • Moist but well-drained or Poorly-drained
  • Acid, Alkaline or Neutral
  • Clay or Loam

Propagation

Propagate by seed sown in containers in a cold frame as soon as ripe (remove flesh from seed prior to sowing) or propagate by division in autumn

Suggested planting locations and garden types

Cottage/Informal Garden, Ground Cover, Low Maintenance or Underplanting of Roses and Shrubs


How to care

Pruning

No pruning required

Pests

Generally pest free

Diseases

A leaf spot may occur