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