Lily of the valley (Convallaria majalis ()), sometimes written lily-of-the-valley, is a woodland flowering plant with sweetly scented, pendent, bell-shaped white flowers borne in sprays in spring. It is native throughout the cool temperate Northern Hemisphere in Asia and Europe, but is considered generally invasive in parts of North America. Convallaria majalis var. montana, also known as the American lily of the valley, is native to North America. Due to the concentration of cardiac glycosides (cardenolides), it is highly poisonous if consumed by humans or animals. Other names include May bells, Our Lady's tears, and Mary's tears. Its French name, muguet, sometimes appears in the names of perfumes imitating the flower's scent. In pre-modern England, the plant was known as glovewort (as it was a wort used to create a salve for sore hands), or Apollinaris (according to a legend that it was discovered by Apollo). Description Convallaria majalis is an herbaceous perennial plant that often forms extensive colonies by spreading underground stems called rhizomes. New upright shoots are formed at the ends of stolons in summer, these upright dormant stems are often called pips. These grow in the spring into new leafy shoots that still remain connected to the other shoots under ground. The stems grow to 1530 cm (612 in) tall, with one or two leaves 1025 cm (410 in) long, flowering stems have two leaves and a raceme of five to fifteen flowers on the stem apex.