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The Lily of the Valley is a beautiful flower, but it is not an authentic lily, so to speak. In reality, it is a flower that comes from the family of the asparagus plant. The foliage resembles that of most actual lilies, so people are fooled. Besides this, it is white and looks like part of the lily clan. The Lily of the Valley is pristine and petite, with its leaves in an arch formation. The flowers are all the more appealing as their fragrance is as mesmerizing as most other lilies. Flowers typically show up in the spring. April is the month when these lilies have a blooming growth. These flowers are invasive, and hardy. When you grow them, you will see a carpet of white very soon.
If you want flowers to spread and give you vigorous ground cover, the Lily of the Valley is for you. In cool and moist weather, this flower flourishes to its full potential. Spreading itself through its roots which have rhizomes, the plant can fill an area very rapidly. Nonetheless, it will hamper the development of other plants that are low growing in nature. It has a habit of drawing in nutrients and water that other pants deserve and so, kills other flora around it. Gardeners recommend it more for rock gardens and cut flowers in North America. You can also plant Lily of the Valley under trees, a spot where other plants that need shade will not grow.
However pretty and delicate this flower looks, there is a glaring fact that you cannot ignore. It is a poisonous lily, and if its ingested, it proves dangerous to animals and humans. You have to be very cautious while handling this Lily of the Valley poisonous floral gem as all parts of the plant are toxic. The Lily of the Valley is commonly known as May Bell or Mary’s Tear.
Growth of the Flower
This bell shaped beauty will grow rapidly and vibrantly in any area where there is shade or even shade in parts. An ideal spot is one with dappled shadiness. Lily of the Valley poisonous kinds of flowers grow in several soil conditions. Nevertheless, it does best in soil that is drained well, yet moist. Once its growing conditions are met, it doesn’t need much maintenance and tending to. It has a long life, but flowering may reduce over a long period. You can lift and divide plants in case this happens. This will rejuvenate them. Since this plant has an inherent ability to grow vigorously, it does not need any fertilizer. Toxic as it is in itself, it can attract some serious pests and diseases, as is the case with any aggressively growing plant species.
Specifically, if you don’t mind this interfering little white flower, you need to plant it in an area that receives morning sunlight only. In warm climates, the plant will still grow well in the shade. Soil must be rich in organic material with ideal drainage. This poisonous lily has been known to grow in clay soil as well. Preferring an acidic to neutral soil pH, the flower is versatile, growing in mildly alkaline soil conditions too. It is important to note that the soil should constantly be moist for this flower to grow. Consistent water amounts of 1 inch per week, either through irrigation or rain is enough for the bloom to thrive. Hot and dry conditions may wilt the plant, but it will never completely die. It will regrow in the Spring of the following year.
In case the toxic plant gets to you, it can prove fatal at times. The entire Lily of the Valley is poisonous and is dangerous for humans and animals alike. Making a person or animal seriously ill, this flower contains 38 cardenolides that are all different. On ingestion of any part of the plant, serious heart problems can arise. The roots contain the deadliest poison, but the plant carries attractive red berries that may appeal to children. Pets and kids have the gravest symptoms. Wild animals know better than to mingle with the plant.
Primary symptoms upon ingestion consist of drooling, diarrhea, stomach cramps and vomiting. People also experience blurred vision and drowsiness. These may progress into cardiac arrhythmia, seizures and possibly heart attacks. Within 24 hours, symptoms will be experienced, and medical attention should be sought immediately. Treatment will focus on induced vomiting to flush out the poison, and the administering of IV fluids. Some ill people have been known to receive oxygen support as well. Handling the plant is safe, as long as you wash well before you eat or touch your mouth with your hands. Toxins are only transmitted through ingestion.
Since the Lily of the Valley poisonous bloom is spread very swiftly by rhizomatous roots, there is no need to induce plant propagation. You can easily give a clump or two to a friend. All you have to do is dig out a bunch, divide it a bit, and replant them elsewhere. You can grow these flowers for the first time by planting seeds. In this case, flowers will show up after around two years. After that, the flower just goes on and on growing.
According to popular legend, the Lily of the Valley is known to have sprung from the tears of Eve in the Garden of Eden. Since times gone by, the toxic bloom has been known to enthrall royalty. Queen Victoria, Princess Grace, Princess Astrid, Princess Diana and Kate Middleton have all chosen it as a flower to adorn their wedding blooms. It is believed to bring luck in love, so this probably explains its fame as a wedding flower. The pretty bell shaped flower is a metaphor for the season of Spring and freshness and is native to almost all parts of the world. In the wild, it grows abundantly in temperate forests. Historically, its leaves were used to make a green pigment. Today, the bloom is used for its fragrance in the production of perfumes and other cosmetic substances. Ironically, toxic when ingested, the flower was used in the Second World War to ward off gas poisoning. Its popularity has even reached the arena of music and the group Queen had an entire song based on it. As hardy and aggressive as it is, the Lily of the Valley poisonous flower cannot take heat at any cost.