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TREES & Plants

Lily-of-the-Valley

This vigorous, shade-loving ground cover has broad green leaves and stands 6 to 8 inches tall. In mid-spring, charming white bell-shaped flowers with a sweet scent dangle along short stems. Lily-of-the-valley spreads rapidly by sprouting from underground stems and may crowd out other plants.

 

Botanical name: 
Convallaria majalis
All Common Names: 
Lily-of-the-Valley, Lily of the Valley, Lady's tears
Family (English): 
Lily-of-the-valley
Family (Botanic): 
Ruscaceae
Tree or Plant Type: 
  • Ground cover
  • Perennial
Foliage: 
  • Deciduous (foliage falls off)
Native Locale: 
  • Non-native
Hardiness Zones: 
  • Zone 2
  • Zone 3
  • Zone 4
  • Zone 5
  • Zone 6
  • Zone 7
  • Zone 8
Growth Rate: 
  • Fast
Light Exposure: 
  • Partial sun (4-6 hrs light daily)
  • Full shade (4 hrs or less of light daily)
Tolerances: 
  • Occasional drought
  • Alkaline soil
  • Road salt
Soil Preference: 
  • Moist, well-drained soil
Flower Color & Fragrance: 
  • Fragrant
  • White
Size Range: 
  • Small plant (6-12 inches)
  • Low-growing plant (under 6 inches)
Shape or Form: 
  • Spreading
  • Upright
Landscape Uses: 
  • Massing
  • Foundation
  • Mixed border
  • Patio/sidewalk
Time of Year: 
  • Early spring
  • Mid spring
  • Late spring
More Information: 

Size and Form

6 to 8 inches tall; width varies as this is a colony forming plant that will spread rapidly.

Tree & Plant Care

An old-fashioned aggressive ground cover. Tolerant of most soil types, but best in well-drained loamy soil. Tolerant of drought.
If flower productions decreases over time, divide clumps.
Can crowd out other plants.

Disease, pests and problems

Anthracnose (fungus) and slugs can be problematic.
This plant grows very aggressively.

Native geographic location and habitat

Native to Europe.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture

Elongated leaves in groups of twos and threes; entire leaf edges.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size

Tiny white, bell-shaped waxy flowers  appear on erect green stalks in spring;  very fragrant.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions

Flowers may be followed by orange berries later in season.  These berries are poisonous.