Adirondack Wildflowers: Canada Mayflower in bloom at the Paul Smiths VIC(26 May  2012)

Adirondack Wildflowers:
Canada Mayflower (Maianthemum canadense)

Adirondack Wildflowers:  Canada Mayflower in bud (23 May 2012)Adirondack Wildflowers: Canada Mayflower in bud (23 May 2012)

Canada Mayflower is an Adirondack wildflower which flourishes in woodlands. It is a member of the lily family. It has delicate, slightly zigzagging stems up to six inches tall, with one to three shiny, dark green leaves. The leaves are rounded and taper to sharply pointed tips. They have heart-shaped or broadly rounded bases that tend to clasp the stem.

The Latin name, Maianthemum, means May blossom - an appropriate name because the plant flowers in May. Canada Mayflower is also known as False lily-of-the-valley, two-leaved Solomon's seal, Canadian may-lily, and maïanthème du Canada.

Canada Mayflower is abundant in all types of dry to wet woods, even in dense shade from New Jersey west to Minnesota and north into Canada, and in forest remnants and parks. Canada Mayflower also grows in bogs and swamps throughout the north woods region.

Adirondack Wildflowers: Canada Mayflower in bloom at the Paul Smiths VIC (30 May 2012)Adirondack Wildflowers: Canada Mayflower in bloom at the Paul Smiths VIC (30 May 2012)

In mid-spring and early summer, Canada Mayflowers produce a cluster of tiny white flowers held in upright clusters on separate, delicate stems. Each flower is 1/4" wide and has four small, white, petal-like segments and four stamens. Plants with only one leaf are immature and will not flower until the second year.

The flowers become small, white berries with spots, later turning pale red later in the summer. The berries, which are about 1/8 inch wide, may be poisonous.

Adirongack Wildflowers:  Canada Mayflower in bloom (26 May  2012)Adirondack Wildflowers: Canada Mayflower in bloom (26 May 2012)

Canada Mayflower may be seen at the Paul Smiths VIC along many of the trails. It usually begins blooming in May.

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Explore the VIC

The Paul Smiths VIC offers a wide variety of programs throughout the year to educate and inform Adirondack Park residents and visitors about the natural wonders of the Adirondack Mountains. You can help support these programs by joining the Friends of the VIC. More information on Friends of the VIC memberships

Explore the Trails

The VIC trails are free and open to the public, from dawn to dusk, spring through fall. In winter, the trails are open to cross-country skiers and snowshoers for a fee. Day or season passes may be purchased.