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Feathery False Lily of the Valley Maianthemum racemosum

Previously known as:

  • Maianthemum racemosum ssp. racemosum
  • Smilacina racemosa
Phonetic Spelling
may-an-the-mum ray-sih-MO-sum
Description

False Solomon's seal is a perennial wildflower native to the piedmont, mountains, and coastal plain of North Carolina. In nature, it can be found growing in deciduous forests throughout the region as it prefers moist, well-drained, humus-rich soils. It does not do well during hot, humid summers in the southern states.  Caution should be taken when attempting to transplant as the roots don't take well to being disturbed, particularly when the plant has yet to become established.  This plant can form a large colony, however, it colonizes slowly by way of its thick rhizomes.  The foliage will die to the ground each fall, to emerge in the spring from its rhizomes.

The foliage resembles those found on Solomon's Seal, however, the flowers on each are different.  In addition, False Solomon's Seal flowers appear at the end of the arching stems.  The flowers on True Solomon Seal are droop from the leaf axils along the stem and are bell-shaped.

Its common name of False Solomons Seal comes from its resemblance to true Solomon's Seal.  They may be found growing in the same areas.  

Native Americans used the root and leaves in the production of medicinal tea.  They also ate the young shoots and processed roots

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Shaded Slope
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
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Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#white#sun#full sun#partial shade#perennial#white flowers#light shade#wildlife plant#partial sun#moths#native perennial#piedmont#spring flowers#fall interest#coastal#moist soil#herbaceous#NC native#well-drained soil#full sun flowers#perennial flowers#forest#summer flowers#full sunlight#small and large mammals#herbaceous perennial#red fruits#native garden#mountains#small plant#forests#coastal plant#colonies#fall fruits#sunshine#summer interest#coast#coastal areas#spring interest#pollinator plant#native wildflower#wildflower garden#late spring flowers#summer fruits#food source summer#forb#food source fall#early summer flowers#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#native#dry soil#perennials#bird friendly#dry soils tolerant#pollen plant#food source soft mast fruit#flies#Piedmont Mountains FACU#Coastal FACU#part sun#part shade#beetles#wildlife plants#flowering#flower#wildlife#pollinators#pollinator garden#sun tolerant#flowers#sweat bees#birds#moist#audubon#woodlands
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Maianthemum
    Species:
    racemosa
    Family:
    Asparagaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    North America to Mexico
    Distribution:
    All USA states with the exception of Hawaii
    Wildlife Value:
    Birds, bees and small mammals enjoy the fruits as a food source. Attracts sweat bees, beetles, moths, flies, and other pollinating insects.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Attracts Pollinators
    Wildlife Cover/Habitat
    Wildlife Food Source
    Dimensions:
    Height: 2 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 3 ft. 0 in. - 4 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herb
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Wildflower
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Maintenance:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4b, 4a, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Description:
    The greenish fruits are available from August to October in North Carolina. They will turn a ruby red in summer, lasting into fall. The berries contain a few seeds that when eaten by birds and small mammals are spread into other areas.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Star
    Flower Petals:
    6 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    The tiny, creamy white flowers are available from April to June in North Carolina. They form at the stem ends. The flower cluster can contain up to 80 individual flowers. The tiny flowers are 1/4" wide and have 6 tepals.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Oblong
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The 6", light green leaves have parallel veins. They resemble the leaves of the true Solomon's Seal.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Unbranched plant. The stems are arching.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Naturalized Area
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Moths
    Pollinators
    Predatory Insects
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds