Alphabetical Plant Listing

Clintonia borealis (Blue Bead Lily)

Bluebead, Blue Bead, Yellow Bluebead Lily, Blue-Bead Lily, Bluebead Lily, Clintonia, Clinton's Lily, Corn Lily, Dracaena borealis


Clintonia borealis (Blue Bead Lily) is a charming woodland perennial forming a basal clump of 3-5 thick, oblong, glossy green leaves, 12 in. long (30 cm). In late spring to early summer, a leafless flowering stalk rises well above the basal rosette. It is topped by an umbel of 3-6 nodding, pale straw-yellow flowers. The blossoms are followed by beautiful shiny blue berries in late summer. Inedible and mildly toxic, the berries are relished by chipmunks and birds. The leaves were used by the Algonquin and Chippewa as an antiseptic poultice applied to wounds, infections, and burns. The young leaves are reportedly edible, although acidic in taste. Lovely in groups under deciduous trees, in cool, moist, shady locations where it will happily multiply to form an attractive ground cover. 

  • Grows in clumps up to 10-15 in. tall (25-37 cm) and 12 in. wide (30 cm). This understory plant has slender rhizomes that spread gradually, forming large, long-lived colonies over time.
  • Easily grown in organically rich, sandy or loamy, moist, well-drained soils in part shade or full shade.
  • Great for shade gardens, woodland gardens, underplanting shrubs or roses, bogs or along ponds and streams.
  • No serious pest or disease issues. Keep an eye out for slugs and snails.
  • Usually propagated by dividing underground runners in fall or early spring. May also be grown from seed planted immediately after ripening.
  • Native to North America.

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Requirements

Hardiness 2 – 7
Heat Zones 1 – 8
Plant Type Perennials
Exposure Partial Sun, Shade
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 9" – 2' (22cm – 60cm)
Spread 10" – 1' (25cm – 30cm)
Spacing 15" (37cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Fruit & Berries
Native Plants United States, California, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Northeast, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Southeast, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Ground Covers, Ponds and Streams, Underplanting Roses and Shrubs
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

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Joshua Mayer, Peupleloup, Aaron Carlson (Flickr)

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 2 – 7
Heat Zones 1 – 8
Plant Type Perennials
Exposure Partial Sun, Shade
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 9" – 2' (22cm – 60cm)
Spread 10" – 1' (25cm – 30cm)
Spacing 15" (37cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Fruit & Berries
Native Plants United States, California, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Northeast, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Southeast, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Ground Covers, Ponds and Streams, Underplanting Roses and Shrubs
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

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