Maianthemum racemosum (L.) Link - Feathery False Solomon's Seal


|  back  | forward |

Maianthemum racemosum - (image 1 of 8)



Family: Liliaceae


Woods, dune woodlands.


In woods with Arisaema triphyllum, Botrychium virginianum, Circaea lutetiana canadensis, Claytonia virginica, Cryptotaenia canadensis, Galium aparine, Geranium maculatum, Osmorhiza claytonii, Podophyllum peltatum, Polygonatum canaliculatum, Sanicula gregaria, Smilax lasioneura, Trillium recurvatum.


Most of our area


Herbaceous perennial to 30" high. Leaves in 2 ranks, elliptic, to 6" long and 3" wide, obtuse or rounded at the base, short-acuminate, finely hairy beneath. Stems finely hairy, curved-ascending. Flowers numerous, on very short pedicels, to 1/8" wide, in a pedunculate to sessile terminal panicle; perianth segments up to 2 mm long, shorter than the stamens. Fruit dotted, becoming red at maturity, sometimes spotted with purple but not striped.


Flowers mid April to late June

Wetland indicator: Facultative upland

Formerly known as Smilacina racemosa (L.) Desf., it has been widely accepted that the two genera be merged based on the "pattern of inflorescence growth". It is also suggested that the proper family is now Ruscaceae. I have not read the paper by LaFrankie proposing the change.

The differences between the two genera appear to include the following:

Smilacina: Tepals 6; stamens 6; anthers ovate; ovary globose; style very short; stigma obscurely 3-lobed

Maianthemum: Tepals 4; stamens 4; anthers introrse; ovary bilocular, with a 2-lobed style



Dickinson, Tim. 2004. Maianthemum spp.
Botany Department, University of Toronto.


Gleason, Henry A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. Second Ed.
The New York Botanical Garden. Bronx, NY

Swink, F. and G. Wilhelm. 1994. Plants of the Chicago Region.
Indiana Academy of Science. The Morton Arboretum. Lisle, Illinois.




 Michael Hough 2005