Convallaria majalis (Liliaceae)
Lily-of-the-valley is a flower of the forest-floor on poor and calcareous soil. In Scania in southern Sweden, for example, it is found in dense stands close to the bed-rock. Lily-of-the-valley is widely distributed in the northern hemisphere. The whole plant is poisonous.
The intense and elegant fragrance of the flowers may be described as "delicately floral, with a distinct touch of greenness, surrounded by fresh, rosy-lemony nuances" (Kraft et al.) .
In a study on the headspace of lily-of-the-valley flowers using GC-MS and GC-sniffing/GC-olfactometry techniques, Brumke, Ritter and Schmaus from the company Dragoco (today Symrise, Germany) identified some 23 compounds contributing to the lily-of-the-valley fragrance, among these several newly detected trace constituents . 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 acohol (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: beta-ionone (trace). In another study of lily-of-the-valley, phenylacetaldehyde oxime was identified .
Etymologi: Lat. convallis, valley; Lat. majalis, belonging to May or blooming in May. In France lily-of-the-valley is called muguet."
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