What is This Plant? (Lily of the Valley)

A lily of the valley plant in bloom, with small white bell shaped flowers.
When moving into a previously owned home you inherit a garden often with plants that may be unfamiliar to you. Some of them such as this example are grown for their fragrant flowers, despite the entire plant being quite toxic. This is a page about, "What is this plant?" (lily of the valley).


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September 5, 2015

We purchased a home 6 months ago and the previous owner has lots of different things planted. These are growing in my front yard. I picked one, squeezed it, and some liquid and yellowish seeds came out.

It resembles a tomato, but I'm not sure. Can someone tell me what this is?

Are These Tomato Plants?
Are These Tomato Plants?
small red berries atop long slender stems


September 11, 20150 found this helpful
Best Answer

Looks like Lily of the Valley dying off going into Fall. If the browning greenery is about eight or twelve inches in height and the berries about the size of a marble, do not eat them.


It is a ground cover that will emerge in Spring producing fragrant, small white flowers.

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September 11, 20150 found this helpful
Best Answer

I agree it is Lily of the Valley (convallaria majalis) and it is extremely toxic, all parts of the plant, at all stages of growth, even just the water of the vase where the flowers have stayed is toxic. The flowers are the most toxic parts but they are also extremely fragrant. It always propagates to the North away from the sunlight as in the wild it grows in the shade of the woods.

The green parts of a tomato plant have a smell which is unmistakable and that is why some shops now sell the tomatoes still attached to their branches to make you believe that the tomato is really tasty when the smell comes only from the green parts of the plant.

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September 5, 20150 found this helpful

I'm not having any luck finding this so far. Can you tell me what state you live in? That would narrow it down a lot.

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September 12, 20150 found this helpful

Thanks for posting this! I had no idea Lilly of the Valley was so poisonous...learn something every day!

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