Solomon's Plume or

Solomon's Plume or

Solomon's Plume

We call this widely-distributed plant Solomon's Plume, but it is equally known as False Solomon's Seal or False Spikenard. A former latin name is Smilacina racemosa. It is most often found in moist, rich woodlands and woodland edges, but can tolerate full sun. Its blooms actually will grow larger with more light. A cluster of star-shaped white flowers appear mid-late Spring and are pollinated by small bees and beetles. Attractive red berries, sometimes striped brown or purple, will follow for fall interest in your garden, and food for some birds and small mammals who will help distribute the seed.



False Solomon's seal is a perennial wildflower native to the piedmont, mountains, and coastal plain of North Carolina. In nature, it can be found growing in deciduous forests throughout the region as it prefers moist, well-drained, humus-rich soils. It does not do well during hot, humid summers in the southern states. Caution should be taken when attempting to transplant as the roots don't take well to being disturbed, particularly when the plant has yet to become established. This plant can form a large colony, however, it colonizes slowly by way of its thick rhizomes. The foliage will die to the ground each fall, to emerge in the spring from its rhizomes.Solomon's Plume is graced with white flowers on long arching stems in spring, followed by bright a red cluster of berries in the fall. This woodland native spreads slowly by underground rhizomes to form attractive patches. Typically found in partial shade and soft moist soils, it also grows in acid soils under oaks and pines. The seeds are a favorite of Ruffed Grouse.

False Solomon’s seal (also called feathery false lily of the valley) is a native woodland plant that gets its common name from its superficial resemblance to Solomon’s seal (Polygonatum spp.). Both are in the lily family (Liliaceae) and are often found together, but are easy to distinguish by where the flowers are produced on the plants. Originally named Smilacina racemosa, this plant that ranges across most of North America north of Mexico in zones 3-9 was moved to the genus Maianthemum a long time ago but the old name is still sometimes used. Native Americans used the root and leaves medicinally and ate the young shoots and processed roots.In late spring and early summer feathery masses of small white to pale yellow, fragrant flowers are produced in flat panicles at the ends of the stems. Flower clusters can have between 20 and 80 individual flowers. Each ¼” wide star-shaped flower has 6 tepals (petals and sepals that look the same), 6 stamens with yellow anthers and a central pistil. The flowers are pollinated by small bees, flies, and beetles. The flowers are very different from the bell-shaped flowers of Solomon’s seal that hang from each node on the stem. (Source: hort.extension.wisc.edu)



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