Sunday, May 4, 2014

Lily of the Valley - You Can Grow That

Convallaria majalis, more commonly known as Lilly of the Valley, is one of those no fail, easy to grow perennials. Sold by the bag in the form of pips or in pots, this plant says sweet simplicity in its stature and scent.  Found in the northern hemisphere of this continent (zones 2 - 7) this British plan is normally about 6 - 8 inches all.  The roots form a fibrous mass of rhizomes that can, in the right setting, take over. Sun, sun/part shade to dappled shade, damp, rich, somewhat well draining soil, will quickly allow this plant to set up camp - even in less than perfect conditions. Imagine a hillside in fragrant bloom, under the dappled shade of mature trees...

Grown in a container by the door, Lilly of the Valley will provide a sweet fragrance that is easily carried by gentle breezes and are perfect cut flowers for bringing indoors or for sharing with a neighbor.  Late spring bell shaped, scalloped edge blooms have been found to be rabbit and deer resistant.  Sometimes these pants are prone to anthracnose, but if spotting occurs on the leave, cut them off immediately and discard (do not compost diseased foliage)Rosea is a blush pink blooming cultivar and a larger more stately cultivar is Fortinis Giant, growing 10 - 12 inches.

Old English folklore states that Saint Leonard battled a huge dragon and was sorely injured.  After slaying the dragon, everywhere Saint Leonard's blood fell, Lillie's of the Valley sprang from the soil.To this day, Saint Leonard's Forest in England is thickly carpeted with Lilly of the Valley.

Pot or Pip, white or pink, sort or tall... Lilly of the Valley.....You Can Grow That!

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