Convallaria majalis

  1. Wildlife
  2. Wildflowers
  3. Lily-of-the-valley


Lily-of-the-valley is a pretty woodland plant with arching stems carrying nodding white bells. Famous for its beautiful scent, it can be found in woodlands on both limestone and more acidic soils. Yet its breathtaking fragrance and delicate flowers belie a much more poisonous nature - all parts of this plant are deadly, including the red berries that appear after the flowers.

How to identify

Lily-of-the-valley has large, glossy, oval leaves that are borne in pairs and often carpet the ground. White flowers shaped like little bells dangle from arched stems from May to June.

Where to find it

Common in England and parts of Scotland and Wales.


When to find it

  • May
  • June

How can people help

The Wildlife Trusts manage many woodland nature reserves sympathetically for a range of spring flowers, from fragrant Lily-of-the-valley to pretty Primroses, showy Bluebells to delicate Wood Anemones. A mix of coppicing, scrub-cutting and ride maintenance open up the woodland floor to the sun, helping many flowers and plants to thrive. You can help too: volunteer for your local Wildlife Trust and you could be involved in everything from traditional forest crafts to raising awareness about woodland wildlife.

Species information

Common name
Latin name
Convallaria majalis
Height: up to 20cm
Conservation status