Maianthemum racemosa is also known as Smilacina racemosa – or more commonly as the False Spikenard, the Feathery False Lily or Solomon’s Plume. You can find it in the Hayrick border in the University Parks. It is an early-flowering herbaceous perennial with gently arching stems and handsome light green leaves, terminating in fluffy white flowers. In some years these fertilise, producing clusters of red fruits in late summer.
A woodland plant, which grows to 50–90cm tall, it prefers good, humus-rich garden soil and dappled shade. Introduced from North America in 1640, it is a member of the lily family, related to the Polygonatum x hybridum or Solomon’s Seal.