Maianthemum canadense Desf. - Canada Mayflower


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Maianthemum canadense - (image 1 of 6)



Family: Liliaceae


Rich woods. Black Oak savanna.


In rich woods with Acer saccharum, Amelanchier arborea, Anemone quinquefolia, Aralia nudicaulis, Fraxinus americana, Galium concinnum, Geranium maculatum, Hamamelis virginiana, Podophyllum peltatum, Prenanthes alba, Prunus virginiana, Quercus alba, Quercus rubra, Solidago caesia, Tilia americana, Vitis riparia.




Low herbaceous perennial to 8" high from a slender rhizome. Leaves 1-3, short-petioled to sessile, 1.5-4" long, ovate to ovate-oblong, usually cordate at the base. Flowers small, white, in a short terminal raceme to 2" long. Fruit a berry, pale red, 1-2 seeded, rounded.

var. canadense has leaves glabrous beneath.

var. interius Fern has leaves hairy beneath and distinctly ciliate, with the transverse veins more obscure.


Flowers mid May to mid July

Wetland indicator: [Upland]

Some of these images show var. interius Fern., which is said to flower about two weeks later than the typical variety. In addition to the morphological differences, it also occupies a different ecological niche.


Gleason, Henry A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. Second Ed.
The New York Botanical Garden. Bronx, NY

Swink, F. and G. Wilhelm. 1994. Plants of the Chicago Region.
Indiana Academy of Science. The Morton Arboretum. Lisle, Illinois.




 Michael Hough 2005