Maianthemum racemosum

Tried and Trouble-free Recommended by 2 Professionals
Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: false Solomon's seal
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Asparagaceae
Native Range: North America
Zone: 3 to 8
Height: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: April to May
Bloom Description: Creamy white
Sun: Part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Naturalize
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Fruit: Showy

Culture

Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soils in part shade. Prefers rich, loose, moist, humusy soils. Intolerant of the hot and humid summers of the deep South. Roots do not like to be disturbed, particularly before plant becomes established.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Maianthemum racemosum, commonly called false Solomon's seal, is a Missouri native wildflower that occurs in rich woods throughout the State. A clump-forming perennial which typically grows 2-3' tall and slowly spreads by thick rhizomes, often forming large colonies in the wild. Features unbranched, gracefully arching stems of alternate, oval, pointed, light green leaves with conspicuously parallel veins. Tiny, fragrant, creamy white flowers appear at the stem ends in terminal, plumy, spirea-like racemes (hence the species name) in spring. Flowers are followed by greenish berries which turn an attractive ruby red in summer, often persisting into fall unless earlier consumed by wildlife. Foliage turns a respectable yellow in fall. Foliage resembles that of the true Solomon's seals (Polygonatum spp.), but the latter have distinctly different flowers (i.e., bell-shaped flowers which droop from the leaf axils all along the stems).

Genus name comes from the Greek words Maios meaning May and anthemon meaning blossom.

Specific epithet means with flowers in racemes.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

Best when massed in naturalized plantings, wild gardens, native plant gardens, or woodland gardens. Effective with hostas and ferns. Also may be grown in shady borders or in moist areas near streams or ponds.