I Love Maianthemum canadense aka Canada mayflower or wild lily-of-the-valley

May 7, 2021 | Love This!

Name: Maianthemum canadense aka Canada mayflower or wild lily-of-the-valley

Type of Plant: A low-growing forest floor plant that is native to the Northeastern United States and Canada. Don’t confuse this with the plant that we in Massachusetts also call mayflower, Epigaea repens.

Why I Love/Hate this plant: If you’ve gone walking in a woodland the past couple of weeks, you’ll know why I love this plant. The ground is suddenly covered with low leaves that are a bright emerald green! Soon many of these plants will come into bloom with a bottle-brush, white flower. (Not all the plants flower.)

A Word to the Wise: Sometimes this plant goes dormant in a dry season or hot summer.

Bright emerald green foliage appears in the spring on the forest floor. We love how it makes the formerly brown carpet of needles and leaves suddenly come alive with spring green!


This plant often grows in a community with The trailing mayflower (Epigaea repens), wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens) and spotted wintergreen (Chimaphila maculata). 

In early May on Cape Cod the flowers are just beginning to appear.


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