Convallaria montana (American Lily of the Valley)

Scientific Name

Convallaria montana Raf.

Common Names

American Lily of the Valley


Convallaria majalis var. montana, Convallaria majalis subsp. majuscula, Convallaria majalis var. majuscula, Convallaria majuscula, Convallaria parviflora

Scientific Classification

Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Nolinoideae
Genus: Convallaria


Color: White
Bloom Time: Late spring


Convallaria montana is a rhizomatous perennial that grows up to 10 inches (25 cm) tall. It is similar to but should not be confused with the commonly found Eurasian species Convallaria majalis. Their characteristics are very similar, and they can be difficult to differentiate. The native species is arguably more graceful, with large arching flowering stems. The sweetly fragrant, bell-shaped flowers are usually ivory-white, sometimes tinged with pink. These give way to showy, reddish berry-like fruit.

Convallaria montana (American Lily of the Valley)
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USDA hardiness zone 4a to 8b: from −30 °F (−34.4 °C) to 20 °F (−6.7 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Despite its temperamental reputation, Lily of the Valley is easy to grow if you buy it ready potted in spring. Dried crowns take ages to get going and do not always survive, and it may also prove difficult to establish chunks supplied by friends. In both cases, pot up the crowns separately in a loam-based compost, water well, and allow them to establish for a year before planting out. (You can do the same in midwinter, forcing the crowns for an early show indoors.)

At planting time, work in some humus, good garden compost, or, even better, leafmould. Spread out any underground stems and cover with just a couple of inches of the planting mixture. Mulch well with leafmould. If you find that flowering is poor, an occasional dose of high-potash organic liquid feed may help. See more at How to Grow and Care for Lily of the Valley.


Native to the United States.


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