Maianthemum racemosum (False Solomon’s Seal)

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Description

Maianthemum racemosum (False Solomon’s Seal) Seeds

Zones: 3 to 8.

Native to North America.

Native woodland flowering plant. Also known by its previous botanical name Smilacina racemosa and by various common names such as treacleberry, feathery false lily of the valley, false Solomon’s seal, Solomon’s plume, or false spikenard. It is related and often confused with Polygonatum (Solomon’s seal) and has similar requirements for woodland plants: moist, rich soil in partial shade.

It has graceful arching stems, creamy white flowers in spring, followed by greenish to beige berries in summer that mature to red by autumn. Once established Maianthemum racemosum spreads by rhizomes. Best suited for naturalized plantings, wild gardens, native plant gardens, or woodland gardens. Effective as a companion plant in shade gardens with hostas and ferns. Also may be grown in shady borders or in moist areas near streams or ponds.

Size: 2 to 3 feet

Germination Instructions

Best sown directly in the ground in autumn for spring germination. The seed can be very slow to germinate, often taking 18 months or longer. If starting germination indoors follow the germination instructions below.

Stratification: Seed requires alternate periods of cold-warm-cold stratification.

  1. Soak seeds in water for 24 hours.
  2. Place seeds in sandwich bag(s), with a bit of damp sand or vermiculite to keep moist.
  3. Keep at room temperature for about 60 days. Occasionally lightly spray water to keep seeds and sand moist.
  4. Place the bag(s) with seeds in refrigerator at 3° C (37° F) to 5° C (41° F) for about 60 to 90 days.
  5. Place seeds at room temperature for about 60 days. Occasionally lightly spray water to keep seeds and sand moist.
  6. Place the bag(s) with seeds in refrigerator at 3° C (37° F) to 5° C (41° F) for about 60 to 90 days.
  7. After the required time take the seeds out of the refrigerator and sow the seeds in pots 1/4 inch deep and cover lightly.
  8. Water gently so as not to wash away the seeds. Keep soil moist but not wet. Seeds can take up to two years or more to germinate, so be patient and do not throw away any seed that hasn’t sprouted yet.

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