This is a magnificent plant, from two to six feet high, with a very stout, leafy stem, springing from a very large tuft of wiry, grass-like leaves, which spread out gracefully like a fountain. They are from one to two and a half feet long, dark-green on the upper side and pale-gray on the under, with rough edges. The imposing flower cluster is borne at the top of the stalk and is about a foot long, broad at the base and tapering to a blunt point, and composed of hundreds of fragrant, cream-white flowers, each about half an inch across, with slender, white pedicels, and so closely crowded together that the effect is very solid, yet made feathery by the long stamens. It is a fine sight to come across a company of these noble plants in a mountain meadow, rearing their great shafts of bloom far above their neighbors. They are very handsome around Mt. Rainier. They are said to blossom only once in five or seven years and then to die. The leaves are used by Indians in making their finest baskets. Unfortunately the size of this book does not admit of an illustration.
There are two kinds of Maianthemum, an eastern one and the following, which also grows in Europe and Asia.