Additional notes (click to expand)


False spikenard was widely employed by several native North American Indian tribes who used it to treat a variety of complaints.,


Previously grown as Smilacina racemosa
RHS Horticultural database link

Other use

Smilacina racemosa Desf. syn. Maianthemum racemosum (L.)Link Convallariaceae. False Spikenard, False Solomon's Seal, Scurvy berries, Treacle berries. Herbaceous perennial. Distribution: North America. Probably introduced to England by John Tradescant the Younger in 1656 as it appears in his garden plant catalogue in Musaeum Tradescantianum in 1656. Austin (2004) reports on Native American traditional usage: a cold infusion of the roots was used for sore eyes (Cherokee); to stop bleeding of the lungs (Abenaki); and as an Infusion to wash back sores (Algonquin). Used after miscarriages, to kill tapeworms, to counteract poison, for rheumatism, externally on sore feet, and for snakebite (Iroquois); as an infusion for rashes and itch (Malecite and Micmac). Cough mixture (Mohegan). Poultice from roots for cuts, back pain, headaches, sore throat (Ojibwa). Revive comatose patients (Potawatomi). Eaten as potato after soaking in lye, parboiling and cooking (Ojibwa). Taste of treacle when ripe, but cathartic – eat with caution.
Oakeley, Dr. Henry F. (2013). Wellcome Library notes. link

Geographical distribution

  • Northern America, Eastern Canada
  • Northern America, North-Central U.S.A.
  • Northern America, Northeastern U.S.A.
  • Northern America, South-Central U.S.A.
  • Northern America, Southeastern U.S.A.
  • Northern America, Southwestern U.S.A.
  • Northern America, Western Canada

Maianthemum racemosum (L.) Link

Genus: Maianthemum
Species: racemosum (L.) Link
Common names: False Spikenard; False Solomon's Seal
Distribution summary: Northern America
Habit: Perennial
Hardiness: H6 - Hardy; very cold winter
Habitat: Maianthemum racemosum
Garden status: Currently grown
Garden location: North America (A)
Flowering months: June, July
Reason for growing: Medicinal

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