Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Toxic May Lily Blossom

May lily (Maianthemum bifolium) is a toxic, perennial plant which belongs to the asparagus family (Asparagaceae).

The plant is 7-20 cm high, has an erect stem and forms a thin rootstock (rhizome). There are usually two leaves on the flower stalk, hence the species name bifolium. The leaf of the flowering plant is not wilted, when the plant flowers. The pointed leaves are 3-8 cm long and 2-5 cm wide, ovate and have a heart shaped base. The veins are small, thin hairs.

Lily blooms in May and June with white flowers arranged in a cluster. The first flowers are star-shaped lips, and to the aging of the flower beaten back.

The fruit is a round berry and contains one or two seeds. Unripe berries are red speckled and red when ripe.

The plant is found in shaded places on moist to rather dry, moderately nutrient-poor soil.

Names in other languages:

• German: Schatten Zweiblättrige Blume

• English: False lily of the valley, May lily

• French: à deux feuilles Maïanthème


See also: International Flower Delivery, Florist

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