Maianthemum dilatatum (False Lily of the Valley) SE


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Plant Description: A small, herbaceous rhizomatous ground-cover. It produces upright stems bearing 1-3 broad, heart shaped, shiny green leaves with deeply indented vein lines. Plants that are non-flowering produce only 1 leaf. The inflorescence (flower cluster) is a spike comprised of many small, star shaped, white to cream colored flowers. These flowers have a delicate fragrance, blooming in spring. Fruit are small speckled berries maturing to solid red when ripe.

The leaves of this plant were traditionally used by Indigenous communities for medicinal purposes and the berries are edible. *NEVER CONSUME PLANTS WITHOUT PROPER ID. CONSULT A PROFESSIONAL FOR MEDICAL USE*

  • Height: 4-15"
  • Width: 4-15"
  • Watering needs: regular
  • Sun needs: part to full shade
  • Soil needs: nutrient rich, moist to wet
  • Bloom Time: March to May
  • Ripening Time: summer into fall
  • Portland Plant List (Backyard Habitat Certification): Yes

Landscape Use and Ecological Function: This native plant is found in moist shady woods along the Pacific Coast, from Alaska to Central California. It grows in low to middle elevations, up to 2600 ft. We recommend growing this plant in woodland gardens and food forests. Its primary function is to attract birds and pollinators. 

Care should be taken because of Maianthemum dilatatum’s nature to spread aggressively underground, becoming slightly invasive. Plant where this is desired.

*Photo by SevenOaks Nursery*

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