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Key to families | Table of families and genera

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Dale W. McNeal, except as noted

Perennial herb to shrub, rhizomed or not. Stem: leafy or scapose. Leaf: 2–15, basal or cauline, cauline clasping or sheathing, petioled [or reduced to scales, with short branches flattened, green, appearing leaf-like]. Inflorescence: terminal or axillary, panicle or raceme. Flower: unisexual or bisexual, generally white (± pink); perianth parts 4 or 6, fused or not, erect, nodding or pendent; stamens (4)6, ± fused to perianth, anthers attached near base; ovary superior, chambers 2–3, style 1, stigma ± 3-lobed. Fruit: berry, spheric, red, orange-red, or blue-black, or capsule, papery. Seed: 1–12.
26 genera, 475 species: northern hemisphere, South Africa, northern Australia; species in several genera cultivated as ornamental, house plants. Smilacina moved to Maianthemum. —Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.

Key to Ruscaceae

Rhizome creeping. Stem: erect, simple [0]. Leaf: alternate, generally ± clasping, lower reduced to sheathing scales. Inflorescence: terminal, raceme to panicle. Flower: perianth parts 4 or 6 in 2 petal-like whorls, white; stamens 4 or 6; ovary superior, chambers 2–3, style 1, stigmas 2–3. Fruit: berry. Seed: 1–3.
3 species: northern temperate. (Greek: May flower, from flowering season) [LaFrankie 2002 FNANM 26:206–210] Historically divided into 2 genera, Maianthemum, Smilacina (1. vs 1' in key); otherwise ± equal morphologically, unique chromosomally.
Unabridged references: [LaFrankie, J. V. 1986. Transfer of the species of Smilacina Desf. to Maianthemum Wiggers (Liliaceae). Taxon 35:584–589; Rudall P. J. et al. 2000. Systematics of the Ruscaceae/Convallariaceae: A combined morphological and molecular investigation. Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 134:73–92]

Key to Maianthemum

M. stellatum (L.) Link
Rhizome 3–5 mm diam. Stem: 30–70 cm, straight or ± zigzag above, glabrous to puberulent. Leaf: > 5, 5–17 cm, (ob)lanceolate to elliptic, acuminate, abaxially puberulent; petioles 0. Inflorescence: raceme (or few-branched near base), generally 2–8 cm; flowers 5–15. Flower: perianth parts 6, 4–7 mm, > stamens, spreading, oblong to lanceolate; ovary chambers 3. Fruit: 7–10 mm, red-purple to black. Seed: 2.5–3 mm, brown.
n=18. Moist woodland, streambanks, open slopes; < 2400 m. Northwestern California, Cascade Range, Sierra Nevada, Central Western California, Southwestern California, Warner Mountains, East of Sierra Nevada; to British Columbia, eastern North America. [Smilacina stellata (L.) Desf.; Smilacina stellata var. sessilifolia (Baker) L.F. Hend.] Apr–Jun [Online Interchange]

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 29 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Maianthemum, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 29 2015

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Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Maianthemum stellatum Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.