E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Maianthemum racemosum (L.) Link
large false Solomon's seal (false Solomon's-seal; feathery false lily of the valley)
(Previously in Liliaceae)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Robert Flogaus-Faust  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #81030)

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Distribution of Maianthemum racemosum
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Maianthemum racemosum ssp. amplexicaule

Species Information

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Perennial herb from a stout, fleshy, knotty, brownish rhizome; stems erect to stiffly arched-ascending, 30-100 cm tall, finely spreading-hairy above.
Stem leaves 5 to 12, alternate often in two rows, oblong-elliptic to egg-shaped, tapering to a frequently clasping base, 5-20 cm long, 4-8 cm wide, unstalked or short-stalked, short stiff-hairy on undersurface, the margins entire; basal leaves lacking.
Inflorescence a branched, egg- or pyramid-shaped, (3) 5- to 12-cm long, terminal cluster of numerous, spreading, short-stalked flowers; flowers white, wheel-shaped, of 6 similar, distinct tepals, the tepals 1.5-3 mm long, narrowly oblong; stamens 6, longer and wider than tepals; pistil 1, 3-chambered.
Berries, globe-shaped, at first mottled green and red, eventually all red, 5-7 mm wide; seeds usually 1 or 2.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist to mesic forests, streambanks, meadows and clearings in the lowland and steppe to subalpine zones; common throughout BC south of 56degreeN, rare northward; N to AK, E to SK and S to SD, TX, NM, AZ and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Maianthemum racemosum

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 0 973 2750
Slope Gradient (%) -2 23 230
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 198 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 4 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: AT(6), BG(2), BWBS(199), CDF(15), CWH(181), ESSF(670), ICH(2118), IDF(529), MH(1), MS(414), PP(20), SBPS(39), SBS(1830), SWB(2)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is cool temperate & cool mesothermal.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Smilacina racemosa

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References