Lily of the Valley is a woodland flowering plant that blooms in spring with pleasantly scented, hanging, bell-shaped white flowers. It is native to Asia and Europe in the cool temperate Northern Hemisphere, but is considered invasive in portions of North America.
The plant has escaped cultivation and is now listed as an invasive species in certain states, owing to its proclivity for forming huge colonies that pose a threat to native flora. It prefers shaded, wooded settings and does not usually thrive in poor, dry soil or direct sunlight.
As pretty as they are, if consumed by people or animals, it is highly deadly due to the high concentration of cardiac glycosides (cardenolides). If swallowed, lily of the valley can be dangerous, especially to youngsters. All parts of the plant, especially the red berries that may be appealing to children, are potentially dangerous. The plant can cause stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and irregular heartbeats if consumed. On the poison scale, the plant is a “1,” indicating that it has a high level of toxicity that can result in death. It’s also a “3” because to the severity of the dermatitis it can cause.
Lily of the valley is a flower that is widely used in wedding bouquets and has been seen in a number of high-profile weddings.
May bells, Our Lady’s tears, and Mary’s tears are some of the other names for this flower.