False lily-of-the-valley

False lily-of-the-valley (Maianthemum dilatatum)
Maianthemum dilatatum

The plant produces an erect, unbranched stem up to about 40 centimeters tall. A non-flowering shoot bears one smooth, waxy, shiny leaf up to 10 centimeters long and 5 to 8 broad, hence its scientific name (dilatatum means ‘broad’). On plants that are flowering, 2 or 3 leaves are produced oppositely on the stems. The leaf is oval in shape with a heart-shaped base. This attractive groundcover can spread vigorously when in planted in favorable conditions.

The inflorescence is an erect raceme with star-shaped white flowers. They each have four petals and four stamens. After fertilization the fruit produced is a berry 6 millimeters in diameter. The berry is speckled red when immature and solid red when ripe. Each has 1 to 4 seeds.


  • Light Requirements: Part Shade, Full Shade
  • Water Requirements: Moist
  • Ease of Growing: Easy to grow
  • Growth Rate: Moderate
  • Spreads: Yes
  • Wildlife Support: Birds or Mammals
  • Edible:
  • Mature Height: 1ft
  • Mature Width: 2-3ft