Thursday, May 26, 2011

Canada Mayflower

Just this evening I discovered Canada Mayflower (False Lily-of-the-valley), Maianthemum canadense. This native flower of the Asparagaceae family is in bloom throughout the local wood. I was relieved, and surprised, to find it a native as there is a good deal of it all about.

From How To Know The Wildflowers:

It seems unfair that this familiar and pretty little plant should be without any homely English name. Its botanical title signifies "Canada Mayflower," but while undoubtedly it grows in Canada and flowers in May, the name is not a happy one, for it abounds as far south as North Carolina, and is not the first blossom to be entitled "Mayflower."

In late summer the red berries are often found in close proximity to the fruit of the shin-leaf and pipsissewa.

Parsons, Frances Theodora. How To Know The Wildflowers. New York, 1896. 28. Google Book Search. 26 May 2011.


  1. You have been so busy since I have been away! Spring in Massachussetts looks like it is coming along very nicely with a whole botany of flowers I don't know. That's one of the things that struck me so strongly when we came last year-so many things familiar-but different.
    Thrilled to see Timothy appearing on here-I shall go back and study those some more. And the cloud studies are fascinating and still to be read in proper detail. Great stuff, John.

  2. We have wild Lily of the Valley blooming profusely here too, as well as the similar looking plant called 'foam flower'. Clintonia (bluebead lily) is up and of coarse your previously mentioned "star flowers" are all in bloom here too.
    Found some huge and unusual egg masses in a new (to me) vernal pool I spied on yesterday's walk; I shall be keeping an eye on these! I had one favorite vernal pool back near our lake in which I always found egg masses/ tadpoles and fairy shrimp but these eggs yesterday do not resemble ones I've seen in the past.
    Tonight is the opening of the rock garden/botanical art show at the Fells- I received my invite and rsvp'd promptly; so barring any strong thunderstorms ( it's quite a long walk down to the old estate and cars are not allowed ) I hope to be attending the opening reception!
    ~ gretchen
    welcome back Judith; you have been missed!

  3. What Gretchen said. You've been missed big time! Welcome back, Judith!

    It is such fund discovering "new" wildflowers. Now how did I miss these in years gone by?

  4. The Fells. I hear the opening is going to be 250 strong. Joyce will be there. Gretchen, do look her up but be careful as she is extremely talented at recruitment! ;-)

    Wish I could be there but this day has been planned for some time. I do hope to get up there soon and will let you know.