STARRY SOLOMON'S SEAL Maianthemum stellatum

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Maianthemum stellatum is also known as star-flowered, starry, or little false Solomon's seal, star-flowered lily-of-the-valley. It grows from rhizomes, often forming dense patches. It has been found in northern Mexico, every Canadian province and territory except Nunavut, and from every US state except Hawaii and the states of the Southeast. It has delicate starry flowers, then green-and-black striped berries, and finally deep red berries in the fall. Maianthemum stellatum is a herbaceous perennial plant. It grows from extensively branching rhizomes, often forming dense patches. Plants are 2-6 dm tall with 8-11 leaves.

Height: 60 cm

Type: Hardy perennial

Hardiness zones: 3-7

Location: Shade or part shade

Seeds per pack: 5

Germination: As with many perennials, these seeds can benefit from a period of moist cold to help them grow. This is done by giving them a cold 'winter' period (artificial or natural), and then a warming to simulate 'spring', and time to grow! Here's how this can be done:

Obtain a planting container that has holes in the bottom for excess water to drain. Place the seeds just under the surface of your growing medium, and water. Place your container in a cold area (but not freezing, perhaps a refrigerator) for 5-6 weeks. Once the cold period is completed, place the container at room temperature for them to germinate. Be sure to keep the soil moist during this entire germination period. Seedlings will sprout a few weeks, or occasionally several months, after the warming period.

Alternatively, these seeds can also be planted outdoors in fall, winter, or early spring, while temperatures are still cold (but ground is workable) to germinate naturally in spring. Be sure to mark the area where you planted them, and that the soil is consistently moist.

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