Herb: Lily Of The Valley

Latin name: Convallaria keiskei

Synonyms: Convallaria japonica, Convallaria majalis, Convallaria majalis keiskei, Convallaria majalis mandschurica

Family: Convallariaceae

Edible parts of Lily Of The Valley:

The whole plant is cooked as a potherb or put in miso soup. Caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity. The flowers and flower buds are preserved in salt or mixed with leaf tea and drunk.

Description of the plant:


30 cm
(11 3/4 inch)

to May

Habitat of the herb:

Highlands and mountain meadows all over Japan.

Other uses of Lily Of The Valley:

Plants can be grown as a ground cover in woodland shade or in a shrubbery.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe, otherwise in late winter, in a cold frame. Germination, particularly of stored seed can be very slow, taking 2 - 12 months or more at 15C. Sow the seed thinly so that the seedlings can be allowed to grow on undisturbed in the pot for their first year. Apply a liquid feed during the growing season to ensure that the seedlings are well fed. Divide the young plants into individual pots when they die down in late summer and grow them on in pots in a shady position in a cold frame for at least another year before planting them out into their permanent positions when they are dormant. Division in September. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.

Cultivation of Lily Of The Valley:

Highlands and mountain meadows all over Japan.

Medicinal use of the herb:

None known

Known hazards of Convallaria keiskei:

All parts of the plant are poisonous. However, the toxic principle is very poorly absorbed when taken orally so poisoning is unlikely to occur.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.