Wild Lily of the Valley

wild-lily-of-the-valley-patch

Wild Lily-of-the-valley (Maianthemum canadense)

Wild lily-of-the-valley is a wild lily, with its two alternate, entire-edged leaves showing the monocot venation style. Another perennial plant, it grows between 10-20 cm in height. It has a small terminal flower cluster which produces tiny white to greenish berries which turn ruby red when ripe. The berries are not very food-wise not very attractive to humans, except for some medicinal uses. On the other hand, mice and birds such as grouse use these berries enthusiastically, so they are important food sources for many.

 

This plant is even more widely distributed than bunchberry – you’ll find it almost everywhere in the woods except in really wet places. It can be grown in a wild garden, but like any lily it requires some care in site selection and maintenance. If your wild garden is shaded and near the woods it may move in on its own!