Smilacina

Smilacina racemosa flowers

A shade tolerant, low growing herbaceous perennial with fluffy fragrant creamy-white flowers. A woodland plant that is best grown undisturbed in a shady spot.

Family: Asparagaceae
Botanical Name: Smilacina
Common Names: False Solomon's seal, false spikenard.

Foliage: Deciduous, glossy light green, broad leaves on unbranched stems. Yellow autumn colour.

Flowers: Terminal panicles of tiny creamy-white scented blossoms. Usually followed by red berries.

Flowering Period: May to June.

Soil: Moist but well-drained soil (chalk, sand or loam). Acid or neutral pH.

Conditions: Partial shade to full shade. Plant in a north, east or west facing aspect, in a sheltered position.

Habit: Clump forming.

Type: Herbaceous perennial.

Origin: Asia, North and Central America.

Hardiness: Hardy in the UK.

Planting and Growing Smilacina

Grow in a lime-free, moderately fertile, moist loam that does not become waterlogged in winter. Site in partial or deep shade and shelter from cold winds.

Suitable for a woodland setting or shady wild garden.

Taking Care of Smilacina

Pruning Smilacina

Remove dead foliage in autumn.

Pests and Diseases

Generally pest and disease free.

Propagating Smilacina

Sow seed in pots under the protection of a cold frame in spring. Alternatively, divide established clumps in spring.

Popular Varieties of Smilacina

Smilacina racemosa (false spikenard) produces stems of arched glossy, light green leaves. Panicles of tiny creamy white blossoms appear on short stems in May. Height 2-3ft (60-90cm), spread 2ft (60cm). Available from Claire Austin plants.

Smilacina stellata (star-flowered lily-of-the-valley) bears clusters of white starry flowers. Can be invasive.