Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Lily of the Valley (Convallaria majalis)

Lily of the Valley
Convallaria majalis
(kon-vuh-LAIR-ee-uh) (maj-AY-liss)

Berry pictures are always a bit of a stumbling block for me. Usually the light is either too bright or too dark. I keep trying though and while I have gotten a little better there is still a long way to go. I think using a tripod might be helpful. 90% of my flower shots are handheld. Using a tripod is a little cumbersome in the garden sometimes. Take this shot; I was down on my knees as these berries were only about 6 inches tall. It is a little frustrating to keep trying a subject that isn’t cooperative but it is also rewarding when you do get the picture.

Lily of the Valley is a beautiful fragrant groundcover that can grow in sun or shade. I use it mainly in the shade, as kind of a problem solver sometimes. I have been growing the Pink Form and it doesn’t seem to multiply as fast as the white but it is an interesting novelty. I had never seen these berries before and from some research I found out they don’t always mature. They each contain one seed but the best way to propagate it is to dig some of the ‘pips’ up. Speaking of groundcovers when I was at work the other day I was looking at an area that had kind of naturalized. I had been transplanting in little bits of groundcovers and shrubs for kind of a modified woodland garden. Anyway I was looking under an Azalea and I noticed a patch of ground where Pachysandra, Myrtle (Vinca minor), Lily of the Valley and Bishop’s Weed (Aegopodium podograria), had met up. It looked like a little Carpet Bugle (Ajuga) in there too. I will be watching to see what happens. That is kind of thing that sometimes happens when, over the years, you keep layering plants in.

There are quite a few legends associated with Lily of the Valley. It has been used medicinally though all parts of the plant are considered poisonous.

(Synonym: May Bells, Our Lady's Tears, Ladder to Heaven, Jacob's Tears)


Sandy said...

I have been admiring your photography for awhile now. Well done:).

Ki said...

Wow, I didn't know lily of the valley had such bright fruit. We had some when we lived in Iowa and I don't ever remember seeing fruit on them.

Digital Flower Pictures said...

They are pretty cool berries but you really don't see them too often. Even if they are there you can miss them.

Digital Flower Pictures said...

Oops, I wanted to say to Sandy thanks for visiting and leaving a comment.