Ruscaceae: Butcher’s-broom Family

Fat Solomon / Western False Solomon’s Seal – Maianthemum racemosum

Blooms:

Mar–July

Plant Height:

30–90 cm

Flower Size:

Medium cluster

Origin:

Native

Habitat:

Moist open woodland, streambanks

Notes:

This common plant is easily recognized by its dense terminal panicle (5–12 cm long) of up to 20 pure white flowers.  Fruits are berries, starting green, then turning mottled and finally pure red.  The leaves are distinctive, alternate, large (7–20 cm), more or less ovate, with acute to acuminate tips.

Slim Solomon / Nuttall’s False Solomon’s Seal – Maianthemum stellatum

Blooms:

Apr–June

Plant Height:

30–70 cm

Flower Size:

Small cluster

Origin:

Native

Habitat:

Moist open woodland, streambanks

Notes:

This common plant is sometimes found in large colonies.  It is easily distinguished from Fat Solomon (Maianthemum racemosum) by its contrasting flowers. These are in a smaller raceme, 2–8 cm long, of 5–15 simple, star-like white flowers.  Fruits are berries, initially green with three distinct dark vertical stripes, then turning red later in the summer.  The leaves are similar to Fat Solomon, a little shorter (5–17 cm) and narrower, (ob)lanceolate to elliptic in shape, with acuminate tips.

Notes: