Lilly of the Valley, Convallaria majalis


Lilly of the Valley is a woodland flowering plant with sweetly scented, bell-shaped white flowers formed in sprays along an erect flower stalk. It has long, lance-shaped leaves that bear a resemblance to Wild Garlic. In the UK, it appears and flowers in the spring, around the same time that Wild Garlic appears. Due to the concentration of cardiac glycosides, it is highly poisonous if consumed by humans or animals.

Possible Confusion & How to Stay Safe

Lilly of the Valley has strikingly similar leaves to Wild Garlic when young, and can grow in similar environments. It does, however, lack the pungent garlic aroma strongly evident with Wild Garlic. Smell will therefore play a major role in correct identification. Later in the season, the distinctive bell-shaped flowers of Lilly of the Valley will be the key indicator that's it not Wild Garlic.

The leaves of Wild Garlic are very similar to Lilly of the Valley, but have a pungent garlic aroma when crushed.

Wild Garlic flowers are very different to Lilly of the Valley and are the easiest way of distinguishing the two.