Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Yellow Corn-Lily, Bluebead Lily, Blue Bead Lily, Dogberry
Clintonia borealis

Family: Liliaceae (lil-ee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Clintonia (klin-TOH-nee-uh) (Info)
Species: borealis (bor-ee-AL-is) (Info)

6 members have or want this plant for trade.


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

Sun Exposure:
Light Shade

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

Seed Collecting:
Remove fleshy coating on seeds before storing
Unblemished fruit must be significantly overripe before harvesting seed; clean and dry seeds

Click thumbnail
to view:

By poppysue
Thumbnail #1 of Clintonia borealis by poppysue

By Todd_Boland
Thumbnail #2 of Clintonia borealis by Todd_Boland

By hello85
Thumbnail #3 of Clintonia borealis by hello85

By kniphofia
Thumbnail #4 of Clintonia borealis by kniphofia

By xyris
Thumbnail #5 of Clintonia borealis by xyris

By Malus2006
Thumbnail #6 of Clintonia borealis by Malus2006


2 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Malus2006 On Mar 7, 2006, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

I have one clump that was divided with the second clump put a short distance away. Ordinarly, when I got the plant, I planted it on the north side of a oak, maybe black oak? and it multiply into a thick clump about 5 inches square area. When I have the local garden club come over, they were talking about this plant. That suprised me, as I see it in large natural areas like hardwood forests and boreal forests as scattered clumps, usually individuals plants but I don't see it too often in gardens. The soil that it grows in is sandy and on the neutral side.

Positive Todd_Boland On Dec 15, 2004, Todd_Boland from St. John's, NL (Zone 5b) wrote:

This is a very common native wildflower in woodland areas of Newfoundland. Plants have lovely glossy foliage, similar to lily-of-the-valley. It makes a lovely groundcover in partly shaded to fully shaded areas. The cluster of 2-4 yellow-green flowers in May-June are followed by matt navy-blue berries.

Neutral sparkyann2 On Sep 7, 2004, sparkyann2 from Madison, ME wrote:

This plant grows wild in Maine. I have located it in the damp light shaded areas among the pines.

Neutral smiln32 On Aug 16, 2002, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

The berries are said to be mildly toxic. The young leaves can be used to make a pleasant addition to a salad.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Munising, Michigan
West Branch, Michigan
Claremont, Minnesota
Isle, Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Summit, New York
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Blacksburg, Virginia

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