Plants terrestrial, to 12.5 cm. Rhizomes sympodial, cylindrical, units 30–40 cm × 8–14 mm, sometimes multiplied, roots scattered. Stems erect or arching, 7.5–12.5 dm × 7–9 mm. Leaves 7–12, sessile and clasping, or petiolate; blade elliptic to ovate, 9–17 × 5–8 cm; base rounded or tapered; apex acute or caudate. Inflorescences paniculate, 70–250-flowered, branches well developed, pyramidal. Flowers 3-merous; tepals inconspicuous, 0.5–1 × 0.5 mm; filaments 1 × 0.5 mm; anthers 0.5–1 mm; ovary globose, 1 mm wide; style 0.1–0.3 mm; stigma obscure; pedicel 0.5–1 × 0.5 mm. Berries green with copper spots when young, maturing to deep translucent red, globose or 3-lobed, 4–6 mm wide. Seeds 1–4, globose, 2.5–4 mm. 2n = 36, 72, 144.
North America, n Mexico.
Subspecies 2 (2 in the flora).
Maianthemum racemosum is sometimes cultivated. It was described as apomictic (A. L. Gorham 1953) but is much in need of cytogeographic and reproductive biological studies.
|1||Stems erect; leaves sessile, clasping, blade base rounded; apex of third leaf below inflorescence acute, shorter than 2 mm; w North America.||Maianthemum racemosum subsp. amplexicaule|
|1||Stems arching; leaves petiolate, blade base tapered; apex of third leaf below inflorescence caudate, 12–25 mm; e North America.||Maianthemum racemosum subsp. racemosum|