Lily of the valley Facts

Lily of the valley Facts
Lily of the valley is herbaceous plant that belongs to the asparagus family. It originates from temperate parts of Europe and Asia, but it can be found across North hemisphere today. Lily of the valley grows in woodlands and mountains (on the altitude of up to 4.900 feet), on the sandy, moist, well-drained soil, in the partial or deep shade (it tolerates direct sun only in areas with cool climate). People cultivate lily of the valley mostly in ornamental purposes.
Interesting Lily of the valley Facts:
Lily of the valley can reach 4 to 8 inches in height. Under optimal conditions, it quickly spreads and forms large colonies.
Lily of the valley has slender rootstock and two large oblong leaves with prominent veins.
Lily of the valley produces small, white, bell-shaped flowers. They are arranged in the form of one-sided spike, made of 5 to 15 drooping flowers, on top of the flowering stem. Lily of the valley produces flowers with both types of reproductive organs (perfect flowers).
Lily of the valley blooms during the May. Flowers emit strong, sweet scent which attracts bees, responsible for the pollination of this plant.
Fruit of lily of the valley are orange-red berries, filled with few small seed.
Lily of the valley propagates mostly via rhizome. Propagation via seed is time-consuming process (germination starts few months after sowing).
Lily of the valley was often used in the past as antidote for gas poisoning (especially during the WWI), in treatment of heart disorders, epilepsy, skin burns and to induce sedation. It is rarely used today because of its toxic nature.
All parts of lily of the valley are poisonous (plant contains 38 different cardiac glycosides). Small amount of this plant induces abdominal cramps, vomiting and bradycardia, while large doses induce death due to heart failure.
Lily of the valley is not "true" lily. Despite its name, it actually belongs to the asparagus family.
Lily of the valley is also known as "May Lily" because it blooms during the May and represents birth flower of May.
Some of the best known and most commonly cultivated varieties of lily of the valley are "Rosea" (with pink colored flowers), "Fortin's Giant" (it can reach 12 inches in height) and "Albostriata" (with leaves covered with white stripes).
Lily of the valley was often used for the preparation of wedding bouquets during the Middle Ages because it symbolizes modesty, chastity and purity. Lily of the valley also signifies "return of happiness".
Leaves of lily of the valley were used in the past as a source of green pigment.
Lily of the valley plant is used in the cosmetic industry for the manufacture of perfumes.
Lily of the valley is perennial plant that can survive many decades in areas with cool climate.


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