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Herbaceous Perennial

Maianthemum bifolium

two-leaved false lily of the valley

M. bifolium is a spreading herbaceous perennial, up to 15-20cm high, with glossy, dark green, heart-shaped or ovate leaves, 8cm across. Creamy-white flowers in late spring are followed by small round fruits which start pale green before turning red

Other common names
May lily
mayflower
see moreone-blade
one-leaf
two-leaved lily of the valley
wild lily of the valley
Synonyms
Smilacina biflora
Convallaria biflora misapplied
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Size
Ultimate height
0.1–0.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
0.5–1 metres
Growing conditions
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained
pH
Acid, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Cream Green
Summer Green Green
Autumn Green Red
Winter
Position
  • Full shade
  • Partial shade
Aspect

South–facing or North–facing or East–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H7
Botanical details
Family
Asparagaceae
Native to the UK
Yes
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Suckering
Genus

Maianthemum are rhizomatous perennials with erect or arching stems bearing alternate leaves and small star-shaped flowers in terminal racemes or panicles, followed by red berries

Name status

Correct

Plant range
Temp. Eurasia

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How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in cool woodland conditions in humus-rich, leafy, moist but well-drained neutral to acid soil in light dappled or deep shade; good ground-cover plant but may start to spread

Propagation

Propagate by seed, sown in containers in a cold frame as soon as ripe, or by division of rooted runners in spring

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Wildlife gardens
  • Low Maintenance
  • Ground cover
  • Banks and slopes
  • Underplanting of roses and shrubs
Pruning

No pruning required

Pests

May be affected by slugs and snails

Diseases

Generally disease free

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