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Maianthemum racemosum subsp. amplexicaule

Maianthemum racemosum subsp. amplexicaule

And another thank you to Eric La Fountaine today for the write-up and photograph... appreciated once again.

This cheerful clump of flowering large false Solomon’s-seal was photographed at the entrance of the Native Garden here at UBC Botanical Garden last spring. This accession* has been removed from the garden and the bed photographed is now vacant and being prepared for another planting, but other accessions of the taxon remain in the Native Garden for viewing next season. Maianthemum racemosum subsp. amplexicaule is native to British Columbia and much of western North America. The flowers are followed by small red berries. Maianthemum spp., formerly called Smilacina, are cultivated to make attractive plantings for woodland gardens. By entering the name into the taxon search at E-Flora BC, species and distribution information can be accessed.

*Accession is a term used in museums, botanic gardens and other curated collections to identify an item in the collection. In the case of our botanic garden, an accession is a single taxon acquired on one date from one source. The accession may consist of more than one individual of the taxon, but different acquisitions of the same taxon would be considered separate accessions. Each accession is assigned a unique number for horticultural and research data management. In the example of the Maianthemum racemosum subsp. amplexicaule 037041-1003-2003, 037041 is the identifying number, 1003 represents the source of the plant and 2003 is the year that it was entered into our records.


Maianthemum racemosum - Z4 - RHS Index of Garden Plants, Griffiths
Maianthemum racemosum - Z4-9 - A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants, Brickell, Cole, Zuk
Maianthemum mah-uanth-e-mum From Gk. majos [May] and anthemon [blossom], referring to its flowering time. Dictionary of Plant Names, Coombes

Here in Maine our version, M. racemosum subsp. racemosum is one of my favorite native plants, but yours certainly looks more "robust" as William Cullina says, who calls it "Fat Solomon." For those interested in gardening, either one is a fine plant, lovely in three seasons (ours currently covered by two feet of snow) and beneficial to wildlife. Thanks to Eric and Daniel for this Spring preview!

Thank you so much for the explanation of "accession." I had wondered about the term when you used it before. When a plant such as this is removed, is it planted elsewhere, or destroyed, or did it die?

Also, Daniel, is it my computer and browser, or are the links to the "One year [and two years] prior to the most recent entry" not working properly? Lately, the links take me back to even earlier dates--today I got January 14 of 2007 and 2006.

Thanks for all your work!

Oh, the dates probably aren't working properly, because I subtracted number of entries when going back to previous years instead of doing a search by date. I will fix it when I can, but it won't be until I have a breather from my current project.

When an accession is removed, it is literally removed from the garden, often already dead, or if it is a good plant, but not desired, it is given to the Friends of the Garden to sell or propagate for sale or given to an associate of the garden.

We did not know the source of this particular accession, so it was less valuable to us.

After noticing that todays taxon has been associated with at least two other Families, I'm wondering which source(s) you rely on for the most current nomenclature. Thanks, and thanks for all of your efforts, I really enjoy your page.

We rely on several sources for nomenclature decisions. When it comes to families, we look first to the Angiosperm Phylogeny Website.

This a wonderful Photograph. I used to grow Great solumn's-seal and the bell shaped flowers brought hmmingbirds to my early spring garden. I used to sit and watch them and I have taken many a Photgraph of the hummingbirds. It spread easily and many plant went to other gardens.
Thank you,

I have always known this plant as Smilacina racemosa: my favorite plant name. And I note the simlarities to Maianthemum dilatatum, another plant we enjoy on the coast of northern California. Speaking very personally, the beautiful picture is welcome, but the change in nomenclature is not.

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