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Maine Wildflowers: Lily-of-the-Valley

Lily of the Valley
Lily of the Valley
Leo-Seta /Flickr

Lily-of-the-Valley (Convallaria majalis) can be found throughout Maine, typically in shaded areas under deciduous trees. The tiny white, bell-shaped flowers hang gracefully from a 4- to 6-inch arching stem held above the foliage, which consists of two basal leaves that taper to a point. Leaves are approximately 9 inches long and 4 inches wide. Lily-of-the-Valley blooms in early spring. The fragrant, waxy blooms hold up well as cut flowers.

  • While plants can grow to height of 12 inches, most wild lily-of-the-valley plants reach a height of approximately 6- to 9-inches. They prefer rich soil that remains slightly moist.
  • Lily-of-the-valley is an excellent addition to woodland gardens as it spreads via underground rhizomes and naturalizes well.
  • Plant lily-of-the-valley in a shaded or partially shaded area in humus-rich soil. These tiny wildflowers are accustomed to growing in the leaf litter under trees where soil is rich and fertile.
  • Water your lily-of-the-valley plants deeply once or twice a week, or whenever the soil feels dry to the touch one inch below the surface.
  • Divide lily-of-the-valley every three or four years, or whenever they begin to show reduced blooming, to keep them happy and healthy.

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