A garden oasis and cultural center overlooking the Hudson River

Plant of the Week: Maianthemum stellatum (Starry False Solomon’s Seal)

Charles Day is Wave Hill’s Ruth Rea Howell Horticultural Interpreter. 

The white, star-shaped flowers of this spring-blooming plant may have long since finished, but they are replaced by fascinating fruits. As they ripen, the fruits turn from green to dark red, passing through a curious striped stage.close-up

Maianthemum stellatum, formerly known as Smilacina stellate, is called “false Solomon’s seal” because the leaf arrangement is a little similar to “true” Solomon’s seal (Polygonatum spp.). The flowers, however, are arranged differently: on false Solomon’s seal, they are located in a terminal cluster, while on true Solomon’s seal, they dangle in small groups from underneath the stems.plant-1

Native to much of North America, it can be spotted in the Shade Border, not far from the front of Wave Hill House.the-setting-2

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