False Solomon’s seal

Prepared by Jennifer L. D’Appollonio, Assistant Scientist, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469. Updated April 2019.

Scientific name: Maianthemum racemosum (L.) Link ssp. racemosum; old Smilacina racemosa (L.) Desf.

Common name(s): false Solomon’s seal, Solomon’s plume, false spikenard, feathery false Solomon’s-seal, feathery false lily-of-the-valley

Links: USDA PLANTS Profile, NPIN Profile, Go Botany

Images: (to see enlargements [PC]: click on image, then right click and choose “view image”)


– herbacious perennial

-leaves are

  • alternate
  • elliptic
  • ovate
  • 6 inches long
  • -parallel veins


-fibrous roots

– generally flowers in June in ME


-pollinated by

  • bees
  • flies
  • beetles


-moist deciduous forests

-partial shade

-well drained soils

Natural History:

-historical medical uses

  • eating the root and leaves

-fruit is edible when ripe



Heinrich, B. 1976. Flowering phenologies: Bog, woodland, and disturbed habitats. Ecology. 57(5):890-899.

Go Botany. “Maianthemum Racemosum (L.) Link.” Maianthemum Racemosum (Feathery False Solomon’s-Seal): Go Botany, 2021, gobotany.nativeplanttrust.org/species/maianthemum/racemosum/.

Mahr, Susan. “False Solomon’s Seal, Maianthemum Racemosum.” Master Gardener Program, University of Wisconsin, 27 July 2020, mastergardener.extension.wisc.edu/article/false-solomons-seal-maianthemum-racemosum/.