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Maianthemum stellatum (Starry false lily of the valley)
Makin, Julie

Maianthemum stellatum

Maianthemum stellatum (L.) Link

Starry False Lily Of The Valley, Starry False Solomon's Seal, Star-flowered Solomon's Seal

Liliaceae (Lily Family)

Synonym(s): Convallaria stellata, Smilacina liliacea, Smilacina sessilifolia, Smilacina stellata, Smilacina stellata var. crassa, Smilacina stellata var. mollis, Smilacina stellata var. sessilifolia, Smilacina stellata var. sylvatica, Vagnera liliacea, Vagnera sessilifolia, Vagnera stellata

USDA Symbol: mast4

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), AK (N), CAN (N), SPM (N)

Starry false solomonís-seal is a dainty perennial with a single, unbranched, arching stem, bearing a small, terminal cluster of white, star-shaped flowers. Dark-green, oval leaves line the 8-18 in. stem. Dark berries follow the flowers.


From the Image Gallery

21 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Fruit Type: Berry
Size Notes: Up to about 18 inches tall.
Fruit: Black, Green

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun


USA: AK , AR , AZ , CA , CO , CT , DC , IA , ID , IL , IN , KS , KY , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MT , ND , NE , NH , NJ , NM , NV , NY , OH , OK , OR , PA , RI , SD , TN , UT , VA , VT , WA , WI , WV , WY
Canada: AB , BC , NB , NL , NS , ON , PE , SK
Native Distribution: AK to Lab., s. to VA, AR, NM mts. & CA
Native Habitat: Moist woods; gravelly or alluvial shores; thickets; meadows; savannas

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry , Moist
Drought Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Moist, especially sandy, soils.
Conditions Comments: This species adapts to a variety of sites and soils and increases rapidly. It can be used as a ground cover.


Use Medicinal: Like onions, the fleshy roots were used to flavour other foods. Medicinlly, the roots were chewed raw or used in syrups and teas to relieve coughs. They were also applied as poultices to burns and swellings. (Kershaw)
Conspicuous Flowers: yes


Description: Fall rhizome division and division of mature plants are propagation options. Seed may also be used.
Seed Treatment: Cold-warm-cold stratification enhances the germination rate.
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara, CA
Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE

Web Reference

Webref 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 resources

USDA: Find Maianthemum stellatum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Maianthemum stellatum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Maianthemum stellatum


Record Modified: 2023-02-17
Research By: TWC Staff

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