False Solomon's seals are widely rhizome-bearing perennial herbs with erect, leafy, unbranched flowering stems. The leaves are numerous, broad, many-nerved. The flowers are borne in dense to loose clusters, and are small, white or cream-colored. The 6 flower segments, also called tepals, are separated, in two series which are alike, with the individual flower stalks jointed just below the flower. There are 6 stamens. The filaments are shorter to longer and often broader than the tepals. The anthers are barely 0.5 mm long, attached near the middle. The single style is short, obscurely 3-lobed. The fruit is a few-seeded, spherical, greenish to red berry. The genus consists of about 20 species worldwide, mostly Asian. Although not exactly spectacular, both our species can be employed to advantage in the native garden.
Guide to Identify Presented Species of Genus Maianthemum
FLOWERS LOOSELY CLUSTERED
M. stellatum Starry False Solomon's Seal Stem 20-60 cm tall, leafy, arched. Moist woods to dry, exposed hills.
Flowers white, 10-15 mm wide, with 6 spreading tepals, in a loose top cluster.
Leaves: alternate, broad, pointed, stalkless, in 2 rows.