False Solomon's Seal

photo by Andrew McKinlay CC BY-NC

False Solomon's Seal has a long, single, arching stem (2-3 ft) with large oval leaves (up to 6 in long and 3 in wide) with conspicuous parallel veins and a feathery cluster (similar to lilac) of up to 80 star-shaped white flowers at the top of the stem. The golden berries turn red when ripe.

False Solomon's Seal flowers from late spring to early summer and can be found in moist, rich, partially shaded woodland areas across North America with the exception of states bordering the Gulf of Mexico. False Solomon's Seal spreads by underground rhizomes and often forms large colonies.

Could it be? True Solomon's Seal has similar leaves, but the pairs of flowers dangle from the junctions of leaves and stem. The greenish-white flowers are tube-shaped with a scalloped border and the ripe berries are dark blue. The leaves of False Solomon's Seal resemble those of Yellow Lady's Slipper, and it may be hard to tell them apart if the plant isn't flowering.

Did you know? The mildly fragrant flowers are pollinated by a wide variety of small bees, flies, and beetles.

See Also: Beargrass, Blazing Star, Camas, Fireweed, Goldenrod, Purple Prairie Clover, Red Paintbrush