Alphabetical Plant Listing

Maianthemum racemosum (False Spikenard)

False Spikenard, American Spikenard, Smilacina Racemosa, Solomon's Zigzag, Treacleberry, Wild Spikenard, False Solomon's Seal, Fat Solomon, Western Solomon's Seal


Maianthemum racemosum (False Spikenard) is a great looking perennial in the garden with its graceful, slightly arching stems featuring narrow, ovate, pointed, mid-green leaves with strong parallel veins running up to the tip. Rich of a rose fragrance, plume-like clusters of small, white flowers appear in mid to late spring. They give way to showy, ruby red berries in late summer, often persisting into fall unless earlier consumed by wildlife. The foliage of this North American native turns a lovely yellow in fall. It resembles that of the true Solomon's seals (Polygonatum spp.), but the latter has pendulous, axillary, bell-like flowers.

  • Recipient of the prestigious Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society
  • This clump-forming perennial grows up to 1-3 ft. high (30-90 cm) and slowly spreads by thick rhizomes, often forming large colonies in the wild.
  • Performs best in part shade, in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils. Rich, moist, humusy soils are preferred. Intolerant of heat and humidity.
  • Easy to grow, False Spikenard is a welcomed addition to shady borders, cottage gardens, woodland gardens, naturalized areas or in moist areas near streams or ponds. Most effective when planted in groups of six or more.
  • No serious pest or disease issues.
  • Propagate by seed in pots in a cold frame in autumn. Propagate by division of rhizomes in spring.
  • Native to North America.

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Requirements

Hardiness 3 – 8
Heat Zones 1 – 9
Climate Zones 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 14, 15, 16, 17
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Maianthemum - False Lily of the Valley
Exposure Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Height 1' – 3' (30cm – 90cm)
Spread 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spacing 18" – 24" (45cm – 60cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Plant of Merit, Showy, Fruit & Berries
Native Plants United States, Alaska, California, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Northeast, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Pacific Northwest, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Rocky Mountains, Colorado, Montana, Utah, Wyoming, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Southwest, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Ponds and Streams, Underplanting Roses and Shrubs
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

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Botanik Foto, Peter Turner Photography, Shutterstock

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 3 – 8
Heat Zones 1 – 9
Climate Zones 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 14, 15, 16, 17
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Maianthemum - False Lily of the Valley
Exposure Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Height 1' – 3' (30cm – 90cm)
Spread 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spacing 18" – 24" (45cm – 60cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Plant of Merit, Showy, Fruit & Berries
Native Plants United States, Alaska, California, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Northeast, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Pacific Northwest, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Rocky Mountains, Colorado, Montana, Utah, Wyoming, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Southwest, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Ponds and Streams, Underplanting Roses and Shrubs
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

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