Convallaria majalis L. - Liliaceae - lily of the valley, Maiglöckchen

Herb with creeping rhizom, 0.10-0.20m, native to Europe; leaves mostly 2, elliptic-lanceolate; flowers bell-shaped, white, highly fragrant, pendent on a one-sided raceme; fruit a red berry.

„C. majalis is a native of Europe, where it largely avoids the Mediterranean and Atlantic margins. An eastern variety, C. majalis var. manschurica occurs in Japan and parts of eastern Asia. A limited native population of C. majalis var. montana occurs in Eastern USA . There is, however, some debate as to the native status of the American variety.“

The fragrant volatiles of Convallaria majalis flowers were enriched by dynamic and vacuum headspace sampling. The products of the vacuum process displayed a more typical odor, maybe due the higher content of farnesol (2-3%) and 2,3-dihydrofarnesol (2%). Main volatiles of the flowers (vacuum) were benzyl alcohol (27-44%) and geraniol (10-17%), together with (E)-ocimene (traces), citronellyl acetate (0.5-3%), (Z)-3-hexenyl acetate (1%), benzyl acetate (1%), phenylacetonitrile (2-4%), phenylacetaldoxime (1-2%), and cinnamic alcohol (3-7%).
[Surburg et al., Volatile compounds from Flowers, in: Teranishi, R.;Buttery, R. G.;Sugisawa, H. Bioactive volatile compounds from plants. (Book) 1993, 169-186]


„The odorants could be divided into floral-rosy-citrusy notes: citronellol (9.6%), geraniol (8.4%), nerol (1.3%), citronellyl acetate (1.1%), geranyl acetate (3.3%), geranial + benzyl acetate (0.96%), neral (0.02%), benzyl alcohol (35%), phenethyl alcohol (0.78%), phenylacetonitrile (3.0%), farnesol (1.9%) and 2,3-dihydrofarnesol (0.88 %), green-grassy notes: (Z)-3-hexen-1-ol (11%), (Z)-3-hexenyl acetate (7.8%), (Z)-3-hexenal (trace) and (E)-2-hexenal (0.18%), green pea and galbanum-like notes: 2-isopropyl-3-methoxypyrazine (trace) and 2-isobutyl-3-methoxypyrazine (trace), fatty, waxy, aldehydic notes: octanal (0.15%), nonanal (0.1 %), decanal (0.07%) and fruity, raspberry notes: β-ionone (trace).“
[New data on trace components with sensory relevance in flower scents, Brunke, E.J., Rittler, F., Schmaus, G., Dragoco Rep., 1, 1996, 5-21]

The standardised (effect correponding to 0.2% convallatoxin) powder of dried aboveground parts of C.majalis (Convallaria herba) is used against mild cardiac insuffiency. „Convallatoxin is similar to other cardiac glycosides. It inhibits Na+,K+ ATPase and indirectly increases intracellular Ca+ concentration.This strengthens the contraction of the heart muscle… The herb is very toxic and must only be administered under the supervision of a qualified practioner.“
[Medicinal Plants of the World. Ben-Erik Van Wyk and Michael Wink, Pretoria 2004, 112]

Thomé,O.W., Flora von Deutschland Österreich und der Schweiz, Tafeln, vol.1, t.111 (1885)

Convallaria majalis
© Rolf Marschner (2009),

convallaria_majalis_l.txt · Zuletzt geändert: 2019/03/07 10:55 von andreas