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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Lily of the Valley Flowers

Type of the Flower
Lily of the Valley:
Convallaria majalis commonly known as the Lily of the Valley, is a sweetly scented (and highly poisonous) woodland flowering plant that is native throughout the cool temperate Northern Hemisphere in Asia, Europe and in the southern Appalachian Mountains in the United States. 
It is possibly the only species in the genus Convallaria (or one of two or three, if C. keiskei and C. transcaucasica are recognised as separate species). In the APG III system, the genus is placed in the family Asparagaceae, subfamily Nolinoideae (formerly the family Ruscaceae. It was formerly placed in its own family Convallariaceae, and, like many lilioid monocots, before that in the lily family Liliaceae.

Lily of the Valley is a herbaceous perennial plant that forms extensive colonies by spreading underground stems called rhizomes. New upright shoots are formed at the ends of stolons in summer,these upright dormant stems are often called pips.These grow in the spring into new leafy shoots that still remain connected to the other shoots under ground, often forming extensive colonies. The stems grow to 15–30 cm tall, with one or two leaves 10–25 cm long, flowering stems have two leaves and a raceme of 5–15 flowers on the stem apex. 
The flowers are white tepals (rarely pink), bell-shaped, 5–10 mm diameter, and sweetly scented; flowering is in late spring, in mild winters in the Northern Hemisphere it is in early March. The fruit is a small orange-red berry 5–7 mm diameter that contains a few large whitish to brownish colored seeds that dry to a clear translucent round bead 1–3 mm wide. Plants are self-sterile, and colonies consisting of a single clone do not set seed.

All parts of lily of the valley are poisonous to humans and animals if consumed. Children are attracted to the sweet-tasting red berries produced by lily of the valley after it blooms. A lot of the plant would need to be ingested, though, to cause a toxic response. When large amounts are digested, irregular heartbeat and pulse along with vomiting and confusion will result.
If someone (or animal) eats any part of lily of the valley, get them to a doctor right away.

Lily of the valley is a popular flower for weddings,although it can be very expensive.Lily of the Valley was featured in the bridal bouquet at the Wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton.Lily of the valley was also the flower chosen by Princess Grace Kelly to be featured in her bridal bouquet.


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