Convallaria majalis Convallariaceae

Growth habit



Long-lived polycarpic perennial

Native distribution

Europe; Naturalized in Eastern N. America

Biocultural value

The plant has been used to treat heart disease and dropsy. It contains the glycoside convallatoxin. This dainty, fragrant flower was emblematic of the Virgin Mary. It was also an emblem of Whitsuntide. According to legend it arose from the blood of Saint Leonard, spilled in battle with a dragon. Young leaves yield a pale yellow-green dye with a chrome mordant. Older leaves collected in the Autumn yield a gold dye.


Robison Herb Garden

Source of plant

Audry O'Connor


Perennial reaching 8" in height, forming dense carpets; leaves 2 or 3, lanceolate-ovate to elliptic, to 8"long, glabrous; flowers white, nodding, fragrant, bracts lanceolate, shorter than pedicels; seeds nearlyglobose.

USDA Hardiness Zone


Special characteristics

invasive, fragrance, other ethnobotanical uses, medicinal/pharmaceutical