South Dakota Native Plant Research
Liliaceae : Maianthemum stellatum

Liliaceae : Maianthemum stellatum


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Family Name


Common Name

Starry False Solomon's Seal, Starry false lily of the valley


Maianthemum stellatum is a perennial herb from a whitish rhizome with simple, erect stems growing 15-65 cm tall. The simple, alternate, lanceolate to oblong leaves are 2-ranked, 4-16 cm long and 1-4 cm wide. The leaves are sessile, folded, have pointed tips, and entire margins, with a prominent central vein. The inflorescence is a raceme, sessile or with a short peduncle. The flowers have 6, creamy white to greenish white tepals, 4-7 mm long and 6 stamens are 2-5 mm long, shorter than the perianth. The fruit is a berry, 7-9 mm in diameter, initially light green with blue stripes and turns dark blue purple as it ages. Starry false Solomon’s Seal blooms in May and June in moist to dry woodlands, along streams and rivers throughout much of South Dakota.

Additional Notes

Starry false Solomon’s Seal is an interesting addition to a native plant garden, offering visually interesting leaves and bright flowers in a late spring, and colorful fruits into the summer. The fruit are edible but are a quite tart. They also attract birds and small mammals.

Horticulture Notes

Seed collection: Collect the berries when they are dark blue to purple in June and July. Remove the fruit tissues and store in the refrigerator.

Germination: The seeds are hard to germinate. Plant them in the fall and expect germination in the second year. Seeds kept moist and given a 90-day cold treatment followed by a 90-day warm treatment then repeating the cold treatment will allow seeds to germinate if sown in the spring.

Light: Full sun to full shade.

Soil: Loamy, sandy, rocky and clay well drained soil soils.

Moisture: Medium moist to dry soils. They need more water in sands and rocky soils.

Liliaceae : Maianthemum stellatum