Creeped out - please advise!!!

dinajean(upstate SC -Zone 7b)April 21, 2010

I am not generally a superstitious person, or believe in too much far out stuff, but here is my story.

We have had the old homeplace for 5 years now, and I keep finding new flowers, plants, etc, that the dear hubby has not gotten with the weedeater yet. I dug some small bulbs the other day that were planted in an old shady bed. The leaves looked interesting, and not like a weed, so I figured they were something.

Brung them to work and got an ID - lily of the valley - cool!

Anyways, last night, I went to bed early due to the rain, although I was not tired, so I found a book my friend had given me a while back called PASS ALONG PLANTS. All about old-timey plants we all trade amongst each other.

Where my bookmark was, I turned to the next page and there was Lily of the Valley. How coincidental!!!

In the book, it says there is an old folklore that says if you transplant a lily of the valley, you will die within a year.

So....Should I go put these lily of the valleys back in the bed I found them.

I know it sounds VERY SILLY, but it is a little creepy, I found the plant, dug 'em up, found the book, and opened to that page.



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I have transplanted them several times. This all seems so real.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2010 at 8:28PM
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keriann_lakegeneva(5B WI/IL border)

That is a bit creepy....

I would plant them back where you found them and say a little blessing.....

Though the book was called pass along, so maybe you are supposed to pass it along...


could go either way.


    Bookmark   April 21, 2010 at 9:26PM
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sandyslopes z5 n. UT

I've never heard of that. Just about every year for the last ten years, I have a patch of Lily of the Valley that grows out of the flower bed and into my lawn. If I didn't dig them up and transplant them, they'd be goners. I figure I've saved their lives, so they wouldn't hurt me. :-) They seem to like my rock wall a lot. I don't think there's anything dangerous about transplanting, but that was kind of evil for someone to make up that superstition about a sweet looking little plant like this.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 4:50AM
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dinajean(upstate SC -Zone 7b)

Thanks y'all....
sandy, thanks for posting that pix also. The bulbs I dug have very slender leaves, actually only one leaf attached to a teeny bulb, about the size of a wild green onion bulb. This may be due to years of being mowed down, but maybe it is not a lily of the valley after all. I will try to get a picture today and post here - maybe it is something else and y'all may be able to give a second opinion Id for me.
Thanks...I will post back this evening.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 4:01PM
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dinajean(upstate SC -Zone 7b)

here is pix of bulb i dug - i do have a closer up picture of just the leaf if need be.
thanks again

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 4:17PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

You are in luck. I really don't think that is Lily of the Valley. I 'think' that LOV has long trailing thick roots that connect to other LOV, as they spread by underground roots.

I initially thought it was creepy, but now I think it was just a coincidence. If no one can ID your leaf and bulb, you might try posting at the link below.


Here is a link that might be useful: Name That Plant Forum

    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 5:52PM
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I've transplanted lilies of the valley several times with no problems (well, one of the attempts was too late in the fall and the plants died, but that's par for the course).

    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 6:06PM
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It's not LOV (creepy folklore, by the way). It might be Trout Lily (Erythronium americanum). It takes a few years to flower and get two leaves. The single leaf plants are immature.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 11:18PM
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LOL folklure Too Funny. There was a time when people actually thought that a person would die if transplanting certain plants. This old superstition actually comes from a time when people did not know how to handle toxic plants. The lily of the valley is a toxic plant.
It can cause....Irregular heart beat and pulse, usually accompanied by digestive upset and mental confusion and if ingested, Death.
I venture to say the people who actually died from it back in those days were people who tried to figure out if it was eatable.
Please wear gloves when handeling the roots of this plant as the toxins can soak into the skin. They would not cause death but you can get sick from them.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 2:20PM
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Wow, I should be really, really dead, many times over by now, if this old myth had any validity.

Not to mention people involved in the nursery industry who grow and sell LOV.

I've spread mine around various places in my yard.

The only people I've ever seen have a near death experience with LOV were brides-to-be during the 20 years I worked as a florist -- try telling them that the Marth Stewart bouquet featured in their magazine that has 200 individual stems of Lily of the Valley blooms would cost about $800 retail, and just see what happens! :=) Same reaction with many other high-end, pricey flowers like sweet peas, gardenias, etc.

Too many brides had Trump tastes on trailer park budgets, alas.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 2:49PM
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vetivert8(NI-NZ zone 9a)

A bit later on in the gardening year - check to see if you have any lilies growing nearby. Particularly those that carry little bulbils on the stem.

May well be Erythronium but there's also the likelihood of it being Lilium.

LOV bad luck to translplant? Don't think so. Probably some irate gardener threatening a 'helper' with extermination if a beloved plant was dug up and moved yet again ;-)).

    Bookmark   April 24, 2010 at 1:00AM
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dinajean(upstate SC -Zone 7b)

thank y'all for easing my mind!!!

    Bookmark   April 24, 2010 at 3:25PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I dug up a patch of LOV and discarded it because it was such a traveler and that was almost 3 years ago and I'm still here to tell about it. I do understand the creepy feeling it gave you, but that is why I avoid books or any kind of TV program that is similar. Still, sometimes it just surprises you and you don't see it coming. Obviously, if someone gave you the book, they didn't know that was in there. If you think about it, why would anyone repeat that superstition to anyone? Pretty unkind really. Why would you say something that would frighten someone like that? Sorry you've been upset by this and I hope you will be able to put it behind you.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 4:57PM
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ken_mce(zone 4, NY)

>I know it sounds VERY SILLY, but it is a little
>creepy, > I found the plant,
>dug 'em up, found the book,
>and opened to that page.

When you put your attention into something you will start to see a lot of that something. It's how the mind works, not a death sentence. As far as transplanting goes, I've moved those things at least a hundred times and $*(&*()))))))MK *


    Bookmark   April 30, 2010 at 10:49PM
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Sure wish I could grow them here I have always enjoyed them and the beauty. As for me, rather than throw them away I always try to find them a new home or just set them out along side the road with a sign saying what they are and FREE.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2010 at 10:06PM
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If you get a flower on that plant and it looks like a small yellow tulip, it could be t sylvestris. A real pest!!

    Bookmark   May 3, 2010 at 9:07PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

I have dug up and thrown away tons of LOV over the years and still can't get it under control in my garden. I dug it up and transplanted it here fifteen years ago not know how much of a thug it would become. I'm not dead yet.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2010 at 6:45PM
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The bulbs are probally just lily bulbs.
I know because ive my lilies have of shoots like that.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2011 at 12:24PM
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tropical_thought(San Francisco)

The reason they die in California is they like wet summers. If transplant, but water a lot, they will make it, if you don't get summer rain. But, they should be healthy when transplanted. We got some that someone had out of the ground for a while, they don't keep like bulbs, they are not really bulbs, they are pips and they need to be transplanted instantly.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2011 at 8:26PM
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