Alphabetical Plant Listing

Learn How To Plant, Grow and Care for Lily of the Valley

Convallaria majalis, Conval Lily, Word Lily, Mayflower, Mugget, Liriconfancy, May Bells, May Lily, Our Lady's Tears, Lady's Tears


A real charmer and an outstanding performer, Lily of the valley (Convallaria majalis) is a woodland flowering plant prized for its sweetly scented, bell-shaped flowers and attractive foliage. Widely grown in shade gardens for its cute blossoms and ground-covering abilities, Lily of the Valley is also a popular ingredient in perfumes and other cosmetics. Its fresh cut flowers are a favorite of florists.

Lily of the Valley holds major significance around the world. It is said to bring happiness and luck. It is Finland's national flower, used to be the floral emblem of Yugoslavia, and France also celebrates La Fête du Muguet (Lily of the Valley Day) on May 1.

All you need to know about Lily of the Valley

  • Lily of the Valley is not a true lily. It actually belongs to the asparagus family (Asparagaceae).
  • Lily of the Valley is a low-growing rhizomatous perennial, 6-12 in. tall (15-30 cm), that comes back year after year in spring.
  • Blooming for about 3 weeks in mid to late spring, it displays up to 15 sweetly scented, nodding, bell-shaped flowers, white or pink, that hang along slightly arching flowering stems. They are followed by small orange-red berries.
  • Renowned for their powerful floral perfume, the blossoms rise above the handsome foliage of paired fluted green leaves.
  • Ideal for shady areas and heavy clay, Lily of the Valley tends to forms extensive colonies by spreading underground rhizomes. Long-lived, tough and reliable, it is often used in shade gardens as a lush groundcover.
  • Cold hardy, Lily of the valley can live for decades in cool climates (hardiness zones 2-7). It does not withstand hot weather.
  • Lily of the Valley is trouble-free, requires little maintenance and is deer and rabbit resistant.
  • Lily of the Valley contains cardiac glycosides, which are highly toxic if consumed by humans or animals. All parts of the plant are poisonous, including the red berries which may be attractive to children.
  • Native throughout the cool temperate Northern Hemisphere in Asia and Europe, Lily of the Valley has escaped cultivation and naturalized throughout much of temperate eastern and central North America plus parts of the Northwestern U.S. Where well adapted, it can become invasive.
  • Find where this species is invasive in the United States.
  • Discover beautiful U.S. native plant alternatives.

Guide Information

Hardiness 2 - 7
Heat Zones 1 - 7
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, A1, A2, A3
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Convallaria - Lily of the Valley
Exposure Partial Sun, Shade
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Moisture Retentive
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Fragrant, Showy
Tolerance Clay Soil, Deer, Rabbit
Landscaping Ideas Ground Covers, Patio and Containers, Underplanting Roses and Shrubs
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage
Compare All Convallaria - Lily of the Valley Guides with Convallaria - Lily of the Valley

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While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.

Guide Information

Hardiness 2 - 7
Heat Zones 1 - 7
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, A1, A2, A3
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Convallaria - Lily of the Valley
Exposure Partial Sun, Shade
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Moisture Retentive
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Fragrant, Showy
Tolerance Clay Soil, Deer, Rabbit
Landscaping Ideas Ground Covers, Patio and Containers, Underplanting Roses and Shrubs
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage
Compare All Convallaria - Lily of the Valley Guides with Convallaria - Lily of the Valley

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