Maianthemum racemosum (Wild Spikenard) - photos and description

Maianthemum racemosum

Maianthemum racemosum

Maianthemum racemosum

Maianthemum racemosum

Maianthemum racemosum
15 cm ruler for scale

Maianthemum racemosum

Maianthemum racemosum

Maianthemum racemosum
Plant just beginning to flower

Maianthemum racemosum

Maianthemum racemosum

General: Woodland plant with an arching growth habit. Stems with short, white hairs running lines down the stem.

Flowers: Flowers small, growing in terminal panicles, greenish white in colour. We measured flowers to 4 mm diameter and 3 mm long. Panicles measured to 9 cm long. Flowers have a very faint scent. Flowering begins early June.

Leaves: Stem leaves are light-green in colour, alternate, elliptical to ovate, and clasp the stem. The leaf highlighted in above photo was measured at 13 cm long and 4.5 cm wide. Top of leaves glabrous, bottom of leaf with very short hairs. Straw coloured basal leaves sheath the stem.

Height: Height listed in Budd's Flora to 90 cm. We measured plants to 55 cm tall.

Habitat: Moist woods.

Abundance: Very rare, ranked as an S1 (as of 2019) by the Saskatchewan Conservation Data Centre.

Origin: Native.

Synonym: Listed in some of the field guides we use as Smilacina racemosa.

When and where photographed: The above photos were taken June 4th, June 29th, and June 30th mixed woods and lodgepole pine forest, Cypress Hills about 450 km southwest of our home in Regina, SK.