Maianthemum dilatatum (Alph. Wood) A. Nelson & J.F. Macbr.
False Lily Of The Valley, May Lily, Canada Mayflower
Liliaceae (Lily Family)
Synonym(s): Maianthemum bifolium ssp. kamtschaticum, Maianthemum bifolium var. kamtschaticum, Maianthemum kamtschaticum
USDA Symbol: MADI
An erect stalk, 2-4 in. high, bears two broad, glossy-green, heart-shaped leaves and a terminal, spiky cluster of tiny, white flowers. Subsequent berries are red. Since each stalk comes from an extensive, horizontal, underground root system, a single plant can, in time, produce hundreds of above-ground triads - two leaves and a flower cluster. Grows in the low patches and has slender racemes of tiny white flowers held stiffly erect just above heart-shaped leaves.
The genus name, from the Greek maios ("May") and anthemon ("flower"), refers to time of flowering. This plant, which spreads by underground roots, makes an attractive ground cover in woodland gardens.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Fruit Type: Berry
Size Notes: Up to about 18 inches tall when flowering.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul
DistributionUSA: AK , CA , ID , OR , WA
Native Distribution: Northwestern North America from Alaska south to Marin County, California and northern Idaho, and northeastern Eurasia
Native Habitat: Moist, shaded stream banks & woods
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist , Wet
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Soil Description: Moist soils.
Conditions Comments: An extremely aggressive ground cover that should be used with caution as it "seems happiest when invading areas where it is not wanted." Will grow in nutrient poor sites.
BenefitConspicuous Flowers: yes
PropagationDescription: Propagate by rhizome division or seed. Plant seeds fresh (when berries turn red) in late summer
Commercially Avail: yes
Find Seed or Plants
Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.
National Wetland Indicator Status
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR
BibliographyBibref 928 - 100 easy-to-grow native plants for Canadian gardens (2005) Johnson, L.; A. Leyerle
Search More Titles in Bibliography
Web ReferenceWebref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Maianthemum dilatatum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Maianthemum dilatatum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Maianthemum dilatatum
MetadataRecord Modified: 2023-02-17
Research By: TWC Staff