CONVALLARIA Lily of the Valley

In spring 2 large lance-shaped leaves appear together with an arching flower stem bearing a number of small, pendent white bells. The sight and the fragrance of these /4 in. blooms have delighted poets and gardeners for centuries. At weddings it is widely used in bridal bouquets – in the garden it is used to provide ground cover in shady areas.

VARIETIES: There is just one species – C. majalis. The plant spreads by means of underground, branching rhizomes. These produce small upright shoots (’pips’) which are used for propagation. For large flowers, grow ‘Fortin’s Giant’ or ‘Everest’ – for pink blooms plant ‘Rosea’. Varieties are available with golden-striped leaves.

SITE AND SOIL: Moisture-retentive soil is essential – thrives best in partial shade.

PLANT DETAILS: Planting time between October and March. Planting depth 1 in.

Spacing: 4 in. Flower height 8 in.

Flowering period: April-May.

PROPAGATION: Divide clumps in September – replant at once.

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