European Lily of the Valley
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European Lily of the Valley
ntroduced Photo: Gurcharan Singh
Common name: European Lily of the Valley
Botanical name: Convallaria majalis    Family: Asparagaceae (Asparagus family)

European Lily of the Valley is a perennial herb 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 top. The flowers have white tepals, rarely pink, are bell-shaped, 5-10 mm diameter, and sweetly scented. 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.

Identification credit: Gurcharan Singh
Photographed in Cheshme Shahi Garden, Kashmir.
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