Index of Species Information

SPECIES:  Maianthemum stellatum


SPECIES: Maianthemum stellatum
Photo courtesy Dr. G. Dallas and Margaret Hanna @ California Academy of Sciences.
AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION : Habeck, R. J. 1992. Maianthemum stellatum. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: []. ABBREVIATION : MAISTE SYNONYMS : Smilacina stellata (L.) Desf. [9] SCS PLANT CODE : MAST4 COMMON NAMES : little false Solomon’s-seal false Solomon's-seal false Solomon's seal spikenard star-flowered Solomon's-seal starry false Solomon's-seal starry smilac starry Solomon plume starry Solomon's-seal starry Solomon's seal TAXONOMY : The currently accepted scientific name of little false Solomon’s-seal is Maianthemum stellatum (L.) Link. There are no recognized infrataxa [35]. Little false Solomon’s-seal is found across the United States and Canada. Since literature is limited for this widespread species, this report will reflect information primarily from the Pacific Northwest. LIFE FORM : Forb FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS : No special status OTHER STATUS : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Maianthemum stellatum
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION : Little false Solomon’s-seal occurs widely over much of North America and Canada.  It ranges from Alaska to California; northern British Columbia to the southern Rocky Mountain states of Colorado, Nevada, and Arizona; east to the New England states, and south through the Carolinas [1,9].   ECOSYSTEMS :    FRES10  White - red - jack pine    FRES11  Spruce - fir    FRES13  Loblolly - shortleaf pine    FRES14  Oak - pine    FRES15  Oak - hickory    FRES17  Elm - ash - cottonwood    FRES18  Maple - beech - birch    FRES19  Aspen - birch    FRES20  Douglas-fir    FRES21  Ponderosa pine    FRES22  Western white pine    FRES23  Fir - spruce    FRES24  Hemlock - Sitka spruce    FRES25  Larch    FRES26  Lodgepole pine    FRES27  Redwood    FRES28  Western hardwoods    FRES41  Wet grasslands STATES :      AK  AZ  AR  CA  CO  CT  DE  ID  IL  IN      IA  KS  KY  ME  MD  MA  MI  MN  MT  NE      NV  NH  NJ  NM  NY  NC  ND  OH  OK  OR      PA  RI  SC  SD  TN  TX  UT  VT  VA  WA      WV  WI  WY  AB  BC  MB  ON  PQ  SK  YT      MEXICO BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS :     1  Northern Pacific Border     2  Cascade Mountains     3  Southern Pacific Border     4  Sierra Mountains     5  Columbia Plateau     6  Upper Basin and Range     7  Lower Basin and Range     8  Northern Rocky Mountains     9  Middle Rocky Mountains    11  Southern Rocky Mountains    12  Colorado Plateau    13  Rocky Mountain Piedmont    14  Great Plains    15  Black Hills Uplift    16  Upper Missouri Basin and Broken Lands KUCHLER PLANT ASSOCIATIONS :    Common in many Kuchler Plant Associations SAF COVER TYPES :    Common in many SAF Cover Types SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES : NO-ENTRY HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES : Little false Solomon’s-seal is an indicator species in a wide variety of habitats.  It generally occurs on moist sites supporting overstories consisting of cottonwoods and aspens (Populus spp.), oaks (Quercus spp.), Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta), and spruce (Picea spp.).  Understory associates range from grass species such as bluegrasses (Poa spp.) and wheatgrasses (Agropyron spp.) to moist site forbs such as bedstraws (Galium spp.), western meadowrue (Thalictrum occidentale), and false Solomon's-seal (Maianthemum racemosum).  Shrub associates generally include willows (Salix spp.), serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia), and Douglas hawthorn (Crataegus douglasii) [20,25,29,31]. Published classifications listing little false Solomon’s-seal as an indicator or dominant species in habitat types (hts) or community types (cts) are as follows: Area               Classification          Authority ----               --------------          --------- CO                 Forest (hts)            Wasser & Hess 1982 e ID, w WY         Riparian (cts)          Youngblood & others 1985 MT                 Forest (hts)            Pfister & others 1977 ND                 Forest (hts)            Severson & Thilenius 1976


SPECIES: Maianthemum stellatum
IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE : Little false Solomon’s-seal fruits and leaves are eaten by grizzly bears foraging in avalanche chutes and stream bottoms in northern Montana and southern British Columbia [17].  In northern Idaho, elk consume the leaves of little false Solomon’s-seal in summer, and ruffed grouse eat the berries in the fall [10,11]. PALATABILITY : Palatability of little false Solomon’s-seal is rated fair to poor.  Piper [22] found no frugivory of green fruits of little false Solomon’s-seal, suggesting toxicity or unpalatability of unripe pericarps protecting the immature seeds.  In livestock palatability ratings for the Intermountain West little false Solomon’s-seal was listed as "poor" for cattle and horses, and "fair" for sheep [6]. NUTRITIONAL VALUE : Nutritional data of little false Solomon’s-seal fruits from the Rainbow Creek Research Natural Area, southeast Washington, are as follows* [21]:                             Mean       Standard Error                            ------      -------------- Protein                     2.860          0.03 Lipid                       1.040          0.09 Neutral Detergent Fiber     7.320          0.12 Ash                         3.500          0.06 Calcium                     0.079          ---- Magnesium                   0.049          ---- Phosphorus                  0.225          ---- Potassium                   1.421          ---- * All values are percentages based on dry-pulp masses. Concentrations of nutrient elements in little false Solomon’s-seal rhizomes sampled in late summer from the Cascade Mountain Range, Oregon and Washington, are as follows [33]:                            Mean                           ------ Nitrogen (%)               0.61 Phosphorus (%)             0.31 Potassium (%)              1.51 Calcium (%)                0.19 Magnesium (%)              0.08 Manganese (mg/kg)         46.00 Iron (mg/kg)             102.00 Zinc (mg/kg)              32.00 Molybdenum (mg/kg)         0.05 COVER VALUE : NO-ENTRY VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES : Little false Solomon’s-seal is considered to have low to medium revegetation value [6]. OTHER USES AND VALUES : The Nuxalk Indians of British Columbia collected the ripe berries from little false Solomon’s-seal from July to August for food [15]. OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : Management of little false Solomon’s-seal is indirect.  This forb generally occurs individually or in small clusters distributed over a short distance.  Overstory management techniques that can damage the ground surface should be limited to seasons of least potential impact; e.g. winter timber harvesting.  Harvesting should be restricted to rubber-tire vehicles and aerial skidding techniques.  Overgrazing of this species by livestock or wildlife does not seem to be a problem due to its rhizomatous nature [1,4].


SPECIES: Maianthemum stellatum
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS : Little false Solomon’s-seal is a rhizomatous perennial forb approximately 8 to 24 inches (20-60 cm) tall.  The stem is erect and the leaves are alternate.  It has 5 to 10 white flowers in a terminal raceme.  The fruits are globose.  The roots of little false Solomon’s-seal are dimorphic. A large root that grows straight downward occurs at the junction between some segments; numerous small roots emanate in all directions from the rhizome [1]. Plant part values for starry Solomon' seal from central Oregon are as follows [1]:                                       Mean  (+ or - SE)                                  ------------------- Rhizome length (m)                  8.06    (3.2) No. aerial shoots                  21.00      (8) No. leaves                        201.00     (63) No. roots                       1,300.00    (500) Max. root length (m)                0.25    (.03) Max root depth (m)                  0.23    (.02) No. of roots per  meter of rhizome                 168.00     (23) Min. rhizome diameter (mm)          2.10    (0.1) Max. rhizome diameter (mm)          3.90    (0.1) Rhizome dry weight (g)             12.37    (4.6) Root dry weight (g)                 2.66    (.86) Leaf area (m 2)                     0.11    (.04) Rhizome dry weight per      unit length (g/m)                  1.58    (.15)    Max. leaf height (m)                0.18    (.01) n=7                         RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM : Phanerophyte REGENERATION PROCESSES : Little false Solomon’s-seal regenerates primarily through rhizomes.  Its rhizomes grow rapidly and develop into long, complex systems.  Rhizome plasticity after burial is moderate.  Following burial by volcanic tephra from Mount St. Helens, little false Solomon's-seal was observed to sprout from rhizomes upward through the ash [2].  The roots of starry Solomon's-seal steadily die-off so that the oldest rhizome segments have few roots remaining [1]. Contents of little false Solomon’s-seal rhizome per meter length from the Cascade Mountain Range, Oregon and Washington, are as follows [33]:            Oven-dry                weight    water   energy   carbohydrates   N    P    K    shoots              (g)       (g)     (kj)        (mg)       (mg) (mg) (mg)   (no.) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Maianthemum  1.96      5.6     35.2         376        12   6    30     2.1 stellatum The rhizomes can produce aerial stems.  These are determinate, annual shoots which normally bear seven to nine leaves and occasionally produce flowers at the tip.  Aerial shoots are produced on both long and short rhizome segments in most years [1].  In northern Idaho, aboveground production was greater on grazed plots [1.44 pounds/acre (3.20 kg/ha)] than on ungrazed plots [0.58 lbs/acre (1.30 kg/ha)] [32]. Seed:  No information concerning seed viability was found.  The probable mode of dissemination is through fruit consumption by wildlife. Pollination patterns indicate that larger little false Solomon’s-seal inflorescences attract more insect visits than do small inflorescences. This differential favoritism is considered to be a determining factor of plant distribution when such uneven visitation activity persists from year to year [23]. Morphological characteristics of little false Solomon’s-seal fruit from the Rainbow Creek Research Natural Area, southeastern Washington, are as follows [21]:                                    Mean              Standard Error                                    ----              -------------- Fruit Diameter (mm)                8.37                  0.12 Fruit Mass (mg)                  305.88                 13.63 Pulp Dry Mass (mg)                34.31                  1.43 No. of Seeds per Fruit             2.21                  0.11 Fresh Seed Mass per Fruit (mg)    40.51                  1.99 Fresh Pulp Mass (mg)               7.01                  0.22 n=100 SITE CHARACTERISTICS : Little false Solomon’s-seal is generally an indicator of moist environments; however, it also occurs on rocky, well-drained sidehills and coastal plains [4,9].  Tester [27] listed little false Solomon’s-seal as a true prairie species.  Little false Solomon’s-seal is common in thickets and open forests on gently sloping benches adjacent to streams.  It has also been found as high as the lower subalpine zone on slopes ranging from 15 to 25 percent [13,31].  Elevational range of little false Solomon’s-seal is generally from 4,400 to 8,700 feet (1341-2650 m). Soil:  Little false Solomon’s-seal is usually found on shallow soils derived from calcareous and noncalcareous parent materials.  Soil texture ranges from gravelly loams to silt and sandy loams.  Soil acidity is often neutral to acidic (average pH 5.9) [20,25,29,31].   SUCCESSIONAL STATUS : Little false Solomon’s-seal is generally a seral herb species.  On dune sites near Lake Michigan, it has remained dominant for more than a 1,000 years.  It is eventually replaced by false Solomon's-seal on the oldest dunes [18].  Little false Solomon’s-seal showed a variety of successional responses to silvicultural treatments of western redcedar/western hemlock (Thuja plicata/Tsuga heterophylla) stands in northern Idaho.  It showed the highest coverage values within stands treated by shelterwood methods compared to those receiving partial thinning, clearcut, or selection harvest methods.  All stands had been treated by regenerative or stand improvement methods between 5 and 25 years prior to sampling [11].  Little false Solomon’s-seal showed a higher percent cover in climax stands of Douglas-fir/ninebark (Physocarpus malvaceus) habitat types in northern Idaho, than on burned, logged, or grazed sites of the same type [4]. SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT : Shoots of little false Solomon’s-seal generally appear in late April, and flowering occurs from late May through early June [23].


SPECIES: Maianthemum stellatum
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS : Little false Solomon’s-seal is considered a survivor species following fire. Its fire adaptation strategy is via sprouting from surviving rhizomes located in mineral soil [5]. POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY :    Rhizomatous herb, rhizome in soil    Initial-offsite colonizer (off-site, initial community)


SPECIES: Maianthemum stellatum
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT : Fire will consume all aboveground parts of little false Solomon’s-seal. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF FIRE EFFECT : NO-ENTRY PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE : Little false Solomon’s-seal is moderately resistant to fire-kill.  It may, however, be killed by fire that removes the duff layer and heats the upper mineral layer [5].  In northern Idaho, little false Solomon’s-seal cover percentage was reduced the first growing season after a moderate-severity fire.  It regained or surpassed all prefire frequencies by the fourth growing season [14].  Following prescribed burning in northern pin oak (Quercus ellipsoidalis) in central Minnesota, the average frequency value on burned sites (15.5) was higher than on unburned sites (11.0) [30]. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF PLANT RESPONSE : Lyon's Research Paper provides further information on prescribed fire use and postfire response of plant species including starry Solomon's-seal. FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Maianthemum stellatum
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Herebaceous response following        prescribed burning and seeding of elk range in Idaho. Northwest Science.        59(2): 134-143.  [1436] 15.  Lepofsky, Dana; Turner, Nancy J.; Kuhnlein, Harriet V. 1985. Determining        the availability of traditional wild plant foods: an example of Nuxalk        foods, Bella Coola, British Columbia. Ecology of Food and Nutrition. 16:        223-241.  [7002] 16.  Lyon, L. Jack; Stickney, Peter F. 1976. Early vegetal succession        following large northern Rocky Mountain wildfires. In: Proceedings, Tall        Timbers fire ecology conference and Intermountain Fire Research Council        fire and land management symposium; 1974 October 8-10; Missoula, MT. No.        14. Tallahassee, FL: Tall Timbers Research Station: 355-373.  [1496] 17.  Mealey, Stephen P.; Jonkel, Charles J.; Demarchi, Ray. 1977. Habitat        criteria for grizzly bear management. In: Peterie, T., ed. Proceedings,        13th international congress of game biologists; 1977 March 11-15;        Atlanta, GA. No. 13. [Place of publication unknown]. [Publisher        unknown]. 276-289.  [17030] 18.  Olson, Jerry S. 1958. Rates of succession and soil changes on southern        Lake Michigan sand dunes. Botanical Gazette. 119(3): 125-170.  [10557] 19.  Patterson, Patricia A.; Neiman, Kenneth E.; Tonn, Jonalea. 1985. Field        guide to forest plants of northern Idaho. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-180.        Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain        Research Station. 246 p.  [1839] 20.  Pfister, Robert D.; Kovalchik, Bernard L.; Arno, Stephen F.; Presby,        Richard C. 1977. Forest habitat types of Montana. Gen. Tech. Rep.        INT-34. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service,        Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 174 p.  [1878] 21.  Piper, Jon K. 1986. Seasonality of fruit characters and seed removal by        birds. Oikos. 46: 303-310.  [15348] 22.  Piper, Jon K. 1986. Germination and growth of bird-dispersed plants:        effects of seed size and light on seedling vigor and biomass allocation.        American Journal of Botany. 73(7): 959-965.  [5033] 23.  Piper, Jon K. 1989. Light, flowering, and fruiting within patches of        Smilacina racemosa and Smilacina stellata (Liliaceae). Bulletin of the        Torrey Botanical Club. 116(3): 247-257.  [11116] 24.  Raunkiaer, C. 1934. The life forms of plants and statistical plant        geography. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 632 p.  [2843] 25.  Severson, Kieth E.; Thilenius, John F. 1976. Classification of quaking        aspen stands in the Black Hills and Bear Lodge Mountains. Res. Pap.        RM-166. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest        Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 24 p.        [2111] 26.  Stickney, Peter F. 1990. Early development of vegetation following        holocaustic fire in Northern Rocky Mountains. Northwest Science. 64(5):        243-246.  [12715] 27.  Tester, John R. 1989. Effects of fire frequency on oak savanna in        east-central Minnesota. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club. 116(2):        134-144.  [9281] 28.  U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service. 1994. Plants        of the U.S.--alphabetical listing. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service. 954 p.  [23104] 29.  Wasser, C. H.; Hess, Karl. 1982. The habitat types of Region II, U.S.        Forest Service: a synthesis. Final Report Cooperative Agreement No.        16-845-CA. Lakewood, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service,        Region 2. 140 p.  [5594] 30.  White, Alan S. 1983. The effects of thirteen years of annual prescribed        burning on a Quercus ellipsoidalis community in Minnesota. 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