Canada Mayflower

Botanical Name: Maianthemum canadense

Height: 10 cm

Bloom Time: White flowers in June, red fruit in late summer

Growing Conditions: Extraordinarily adaptable and is found in all sorts of woodlands, including the almost impossible dry shade under spruce trees. Flourishes best in moist, acidic, organic soil and shade. Spreads by rhizomes and will eventually form a carpet. If you want a dense lush carpet of Canada Mayflower, leaf mould, pine needle mulch, and a bit of moisture are a big help.

Ottawa Valley or Eastern Ontario seed source: Yes.

Wildlife benefits: Ruffed Grouse and other birds eat the berries.

Remarks: Canada Mayflower is sometimes called Wild Lily-of-the-Valley, which is very confusing. Lily-of-the-Valley (Convallaria) is a European plant with fragrant flowers and poisonous berries, which escapes from gardens in eastern North America and is invasive in forests. The very existence of the name, Wild Lily-of-the-Valley seems to give folks licence to believe the invasive Convallaria is appropriate to plant in woodland settings.

Similar species: Starry False Solomon’s Seal.


More plants for shady gardens.

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