False Solomon's Seal, Spikenard, Solomon's Plume, Feathery False Lily of the Valley
Maianthemum racemosum

Family: Asparagaceae
Genus: Maianthemum (may-an-the-mum) (Info)
Species: racemosum (ray-see-MO-sum) (Info)
Synonym:Convallaria racemosa
Synonym:Polygonastrum racemosum
Synonym:Smilacina racemosa
Synonym:Tovaria racemosa
Synonym:Unifolium racemosum

Category:

Perennials

Height:

6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

Spacing:

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

Hardiness:

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)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade

Partial to Full Shade

Danger:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring

Mid Spring

Foliage:

Grown for foliage

Smooth-Textured

Other details:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:

5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:

Non-patented

Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

Regional

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

Cullman, Alabama

Parker, Colorado

Potlatch, Idaho

Moline, Illinois

Lafayette, Indiana

New Carlisle, Indiana

Valparaiso, Indiana

Des Moines, Iowa

Bethelridge, Kentucky

Richmond, Maine

Brookeville, Maryland

Oakland, Maryland

Bridgewater, Massachusetts

Foxboro, Massachusetts

Haydenville, Massachusetts

Holland, Massachusetts

Grand Haven, Michigan

Milford, Michigan

Royal Oak, Michigan

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Cole Camp, Missouri

Piedmont, Missouri

North Walpole, New Hampshire

Frenchtown, New Jersey

Blossvale, New York

Canastota, New York

Carmel, New York

Croton On Hudson, New York

Hendersonville, North Carolina

Glouster, Ohio

Hulbert, Oklahoma

Hillsboro, Oregon

Salem, Oregon

Millersburg, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

Rock Hill, South Carolina

Tremonton, Utah

Blacksburg, Virginia

Leesburg, Virginia

Lexington, Virginia

Virginia Beach, Virginia

Kalama, Washington

Nordland, Washington

Port Hadlock-irondale, Washington

Port Townsend, Washington

Vancouver, Washington

Ellsworth, Wisconsin

Washington Island, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:

4
positives
4
neutrals
0
negatives
RatingContent
Neutral

On Dec 21, 2014, Ouroboros from Hillsboro, OR wrote:

Contrary to what this page says, Mianthemum racemosa is actually a part of the Liliaceae family, not Asparagaceae. It is a monocot not a dicot. Lilies can be identified by indicators such as their parallel venation, and stamens, pistils, petals, sepals, leaves all in 3's or 6's.

Positive

On May 23, 2013, plant_it from Valparaiso, IN wrote:

I like the tiny, fragrant, creamy white flowers that appear at the stem ends in spring. Flowers are followed by greenish berries which turn an attractive ruby red in summer. Foliage turns a respectable yellow in fall. Birds and wildlife enjoy the berries.

Looks nice with hostas and ferns.

Neutral

On Jul 30, 2008, daryl from vernon, BC (Zone 6a) wrote:

The aboriginal peoples of the southern interior of British Columbia had many uses for the false Solomon's seal.The Secwepemc used the roots as a blood purifier,and the Nlaka'pmx used them as an internal medicine and "woman's medicine".The young greens and fleshy rhizomes were eaten by the Secwepemc and others.The Secwepemc,Nlaka'pmx ,Okanagan and the Lil'wae'ul also ate the berries.In the spring,the St'at'imc gathered the rhizomes and berries to make a cleanser for fishing nets.The name Solomon's seal is thought to refer to the rhizomes,which, when cut,bear surface scars or markings that resemble the seal of Solomon,a six pointed star.

Positive

On Jun 15, 2007, CaptMicha from Brookeville, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:

Attractive plant flowers same time as Soloman's seal but with feathery flowers.

Very unassuming, planted in my woodland garden with Soloman's Seal. They look very much alike out of flower and seed.

Neutral

On Feb 13, 2006, raisedbedbob from Walkerton, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:

According to the Peterson Field Guide to Medicinal Plants, American Indians used a root tea for constipation, rheumatism, and a stomach tonic. Root smoke was inhaled to treat insanity and to quiet a crying child. Leaf tea was used as a contraceptive and for coughs. Exrernally used for bleeding, rashes and itch.

Positive

On Apr 20, 2005, sensations wrote:

This plant grows throught the woods around here in the high cascades. It is pretty and has medical properties used by herbalists.

Positive

On May 5, 2002, chuck42446 from Spruce Pine, NC wrote:

Plants grow to 1' to 2' tall and bloom in early-mid Spring. Need shade. Easily transplanted.

Neutral

On Sep 10, 2001, Sis wrote:

Small,starry creamy white flowers are borne in terminal, plume-like clusters. Red berries ripen in late summer.

Plants burn in full sun; give shade, especially from afternoon sun.