False Solomon Seal

Genus Smilacina
Lily Family (Liliaceae)







False Solomon Seal
(Smilacina racemosa)

These plants grow in damp shady areas underneath groves of trees, often in dense patches. The leaves are 4 to 6 inches long, and clasp the stem at the base. They are called "False" Solomon Seal because they do not have the medicinal properties of the "True" Solomon Seal plant, which is a different genus (Polygonatum) that grows in some of our eastern states.



Plant about 1 foot tall
   with broad, bright green leaves
   -- flowers just beginning to appear

Plant about 1 foot tall
    with nrrower leaves




Starry Solomon Seal
(Smilacina stellata)

This plant is a closely related species, which grows in a similar habitat. The leaves are narrower, and the plant usually has fewer flowers.



A few tiny flowers (about 1/4 inch across) occur at the end of the leaf stalk. Each flower is shaped like a 6-pointed star -- thus the species name "stellata".



Tiny white flowers of
   the Smilacina plant




Red Butte Canyon
and Wheeler Farm
Salt Lake County, Utah

References


Photographed
by Sandra Bray