Maianthemum oleraceum - Pink Form

False solomon seal


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Perhaps the penultimate perennial in our shade garden. This Asian False Solomon Seal species reaches the pinnacle of expression in this pink-purple flowered form. In time, this will develop thick stems variably black or green and less commonly coated in a subtle pale peach fuzz of small hairs. These impressive shoots arise from the soil in spring as if the imaginings of some wild fever dream about asparagus. At full maturity which will take some years, these will be pushing 6' in height and when in flower will render even the most consummate gardener speechless.

(David Culp, author of 'The Layered Garden', was not without speech when he dropped to his knee upon seeing this blooming but the words were disconnected and for the most part unintelligible. He said almost a year later in conversation "You know, that was was just one of those moments in your life").

The large panicles of small pinkish purple flowers appear usually the first week of June for us and own the shade garden. We have many striking plants in the garden but when Martha Stewart Living wanted to know when to come out and shoot the garden, we said "First week of June - Maianthemum oleraceum will be blooming". It will be a few years before these become contenders for the best thing in your garden but if ever a wait was worth it, this is that wait.


Plant Type

  • Perennial / Bulb

Mature Size


Hardiness Zones

  • Zone 6a (-10 °F)
  • Zone 6b (-5 °F)
  • Zone 7a (0 °F)
  • Zone 7b (5 °F)
  • Zone 8a (10 °F)
  • Zone 8b (15 °F)
  • Zone 9a (20 °F)
  • Zone 9b (25 °F)

Sun Exposure

  • Shade

Water Needs

  • Moderate
  • Moist

Bloom Time

  • Spring
  • Summer