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False Solomon Seal
Maianthemum stellatum
About False Solomon Seal (Maianthemum stellatum) Nurseries Show All Photos Maianthemum stellatum (False Solomon's Seal) is a species of flowering plant in the family Ruscaceae, native across North America generally from Alaska to California in the west and from Newfoundland to the central Appalachian Mountains in the east. In California it is found primarily in the Coast Ranges and Sierras. An everchanging seasonal plant with little white buds in the spring, followed by delicate starry flowers, then stripy berries and deep red berries in the fall. It is a woodland herbaceous perennial plant, smaller than its close relative M. racemosum. This is a plant for full shade areas.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Perennial herb

Max. Height
2.5 ft (0.8 m)

Max. Width
1 - 2 ft (0.3 - 0.6 m)

Growth Rate

Summer Deciduous

Flower Color
White, Red

Flowering Season

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type

Full Shade, Part Shade

Elevation ?
3' - 10562'

Annual Precip. ?
4.9" - 153.3"

Summer Precip. ?
0.19" - 5.57"

Coldest Month ?
22.7° F - 54.1° F

Hottest Month ?
45.7° F - 77.4° F

Humidity ?
0.02 vpd - 29.64 vpd

Soil Description
Prefers rich, loose, but well-drained soils with lots of humus

Soil PH
5.0 - 7.0


Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to 0° F

Sunset Zones ?
1, 2, 3, 4*, 5*, 6*, 7*, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15*, 16*, 17*, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

Companion Plants
Use in a shaded woodland garden with various tree species, native ferns, Wild Ginger (Asarum caudatum), and other shade-loving plants

Wildlife Attracted

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Very Easy

Water Requirement ?
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Moderately Popular

Max. Summer Water ?
2x/month, 1/week
No Summer Water
Keep moist

Propagation ?
For propagating by seed: 6 mos. cold, 3 mos. warm, and 5 mos. cold stratification.

Common uses
Deer Resistant

Other Names
Botanical Names
Smilacina stellata

Common Names
Little False-solomon's-seal, Nuttall's Solomon's Seal, Panicled False Solomon's-seal, Slim Solomon, Star-flowered False-solomon's-seal, Starry False Lily Of The Valley

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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