Is Lily of the Valley Invasive?

It’s typically so exhausting to make the shady components of our gardens sing. And many people have a lot of it – shade on the north aspect of the home, underneath our bushes, and subsequent to our shrubs.

It’s no surprise species like hostas and lily of the valley are so wanted. You’d have a tough time discovering extra dependable choices for filling the shade with life and coloration.

A horizontal close up photo of many lily of the valley plants growing closely together.

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However, because the saying goes, nobody is ideal. Not even our shade-loving superstars.

Lily of the valley, for instance, isn’t as candy as she seems to be. In actuality, she will typically be fairly the menace.

On this information, we’re going to speak about whether or not this plant is invasive and what we will do to manage it. Right here’s what’s within the coming points of interest:

Earlier than we focus on invasiveness and what all of it means, let’s outline what lily of the valley is.

What Is Lily of the Valley?

Convallaria majalis, generally generally known as lily of the valley, is a plant native to Eurasia.

It was delivered to North America as a decorative for its white, bell-shaped flowers that dangle delicately from lengthy stalks.

Not only a fairly face, these tiny blossoms exude an outsized perfume with notes of sweetness, flora, and contemporary greenery that’s marvelous sufficient to grace perfumes.

The one downside is that its mild-mannered look hides a wily nature, and it has at occasions escaped.

Not content material to be constrained, this species has shortly discovered its approach into forests and fields, incomes itself a nasty fame and the dreaded label of “invasive” (dun dun dun…).

Is Lily of the Valley Invasive?

An invasive plant is one which isn’t indigenous to an space, and that has brought on some kind of hurt, whether or not financial or environmental, or to human or animal well being.

A species might be thought to be troublesome with out being deemed invasive, corresponding to these which might be thought of noxious.

A horizontal photo of a Convallaria majalis in full bloom with small white flowers and bright green foliage.

These phrases are vital as a result of they permit native, state, and federal governments to control and management the crops they deem problematic.

The US federal authorities defines an invasive species as “an alien species whose introduction does or is more likely to trigger financial or environmental hurt or hurt to human well being” in Government Order 13112, which created the Nationwide Invasive Species Council.

C. majalis isn’t at present outlined as invasive by the federal authorities.

It’s, nonetheless, listed as invasive by native governments in lots of areas of the jap United States, in addition to Alaska.

Native governments in Wisconsin, Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania all checklist it as invasive. In lots of areas it’s listed as a noxious weed as an alternative.

It’s not listed as invasive or noxious in most western states.

So the reply is that, sure, C. majalis could also be invasive. All of it relies on the place you reside.

Regardless, this species might develop aggressively. An aggressive plant is likely to be native or not, and it would trigger hurt or not. What it does do is unfold to areas the place it isn’t wished.

Native Species

Keep in mind, with a view to be labeled as invasive, a plant should be alien. There may be some debate about whether or not or not lily of the valley is native to North America.

C. majalis var. montana, aka C. pseudomajalis, is taken into account by some to be native to the area.

A vertical close up photo of a Convallaria majalis leaves with the small white blooms growing wild in a forest.

There is no such thing as a doubt that these crops fluctuate barely from C. majalis, however it’s not clear if this can be a selection that tailored from crops that escaped cultivation, or if it’s native to the realm and shares traits with the Eurasian species whereas being its personal distinct species or selection.

Why does this matter? As a result of a plant that’s native to an space, by definition, can’t be invasive.

An invasive species is one which isn’t indigenous to an space. So if we uncover that sure sorts of lily of the valley are native, they is likely to be extra welcome in additional areas than C. majalis.

Controlling Lily of the Valley

As long as the plant isn’t banned or managed in your space, you possibly can nonetheless plant it. However you may want to remember its enthusiastic progress behavior.

When you determine to domesticate it in your backyard, you’ll possible wish to maintain it in verify.

The plant spreads via stolons, rhizomes, and berries.

Your first choice is to easily permit lily of the valley to develop wild. You probably have a big space that wants some erosion management or {a partially} shady space distant out of your different gardens, you possibly can let it unfold its wings and fly.

In any other case, you wish to present it with some boundaries. Actually. Develop it in a mattress with distinct borders that separate it from different areas, like a cement border, a sidewalk, or alongside the aspect of a constructing.

This received’t cease the seeds from escaping, so that you’ll have to drag any pop-ups you discover rising the place you don’t need them. Birds may unfold seeds far and huge, so maintain this in thoughts.

That leads me to the opposite management tactic: common pulling. When you see a plant stick its head up the place it’s not wished, pull it. Then, skinny out your patch repeatedly, specializing in the outer borders.

In most areas, you possibly can’t skinny an excessive amount of. These crops will come proper again with no downside.

You’ll be able to at all times divide the crops and unfold the like to mates and neighbors – deliberately!

Too A lot of a Good Factor?

Whether or not it’s actually invasive or not, there’s at all times the potential of discovering your self with an excessive amount of of a very good factor. Don’t let your lily of the valley change into extra of a beast than a magnificence.

A horizontal photo shot from above of three bunches of fresh cut Convallaria majalis flowers lying on a log.

Do you’ve got a favourite method to maintain this beautiful plant in verify? Share your concepts within the feedback to assist others who’re struggling to manage it.

If this information was helpful for you and also you’d wish to study extra about lily of the valley, take a look at these guides subsequent:

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