Convallaria majalis (Lily of the Valley)

Light/Partial Shade
Full Shade
Soil Type:
Most Types

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Plant Overview

A native plant, but now very rare in the wild. Lily of the Valley has many creamy drooping bells from late spring, which are deliciously scented. Small red berries follow the flowers in September on established plants. 

Plant in dappled, or full shade and the plant will spread to form a good sized clump. Excellent for underplanting trees and shrubs.

Makes an excellent cut flower. Awarded the RHS Award for Garden Merit.

Lily of the valley was Queen Elizabeth II's favourite flower and featured in Her Majesty’s coronation bouquet.

Height and Spread: 25cm x 45cm

Common name(s): Lily of the Valley; May Lily; Wood Lily; Our Lady's Tears; Dangle Bells; Ladies Tears; White Bells.

History & Tradition

The floures of the Valley Lillie distilled with a little wine, and drunke the quantitie of a spoonful, restore speech unto those that have the dumb palsie and that are falne into the Apoplexie, and are good against the gout and comfort the heart. Gerards Herbal (1597) (Do not try this as the plant is poisonous if eaten).

One legend, from Sussex, explains that St Leonard fought a great dragon called Malitia in the woods near Horsham. He eventually beheaded the beast after many hours of combat, but received several terrible wounds during the battle. Throughout the woods, lily of the valley sprang up wherever his blood had fallen. The woods, called St Leonard's Forest, were carpeted with the flowers.

Please note: Poisonous if eaten. Plants may be summer or winter dormant when received.




Photo: Ivar Leidus, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

All our plants are supplied in 9cm pots unless otherwise specified. Plants in this size pot establish quickly in the garden and often outpace plants in bigger pots planted at the same time. Our potted plants can be planted immediately, unless otherwise noted, or you can leave them in their pots until you are ready to plant.
The majority of our plants are grown outdoors. This means that they follow their natural growth patterns and are ready to plant at any time of the year. If you order the plants in winter, they are likely to be dormant and died back to ground level, ready to shoot again in spring - just like the herbaceous perennials in your own garden. Very occasionally, in winter and early spring, we may indicate on the packing slip that a plant needs to be hardened off before planting out. This will be because it has just come out of a polytunnel. If you have any questions about our plants or growing methods, please feel free to drop us an email.
We grow most of what we sell ourselves, in our nursery in the Buckinghamshire countryside. Our prices include VAT at 20%.
Please note: We do our best to provide acurate photographs of the plants we sell, but colours display differently on different screens, printers and in different light and we cannot guarantee that what you are seeing on your screen, or on the plant label provided, will exactly match the plant when it flowers in your garden.