Late Spring Blooming Solomon’s Seals in Pennsylvanian Woodlands

Solomon’s Seals grow in open woods where sunlight reaches the forest floor. They co-exist with the viburnums and other woodland herbs.

Smooth Solomon’s Seal, Polygonatum biflorum, has one to four creamy-white to yellow-green, bell-shaped flowers dangling from the leaf axils along an arching stem. If you don’t look under the leaves, you’re bound to miss the flowers.

Smooth Solomon's Seal's dangling, tube-shaped flowers.

Smooth Solomon’s Seal’s dangling, tube-shaped flowers.

False Solomon’s Seal, Smilacina racemosa, is blooming now, too — it’s flowers are much more noticeable than Smooth Soloman’s Seal’s blooms. At the end of an upward-arching stem projects out a pointed cluster, or raceme, of white flowers, which lends it an alternate name of Wild Spikenard.

Blooms of False Solomon's Seal projecting upward at the tip of the zig-zag stem.

Blooms of False Solomon’s Seal projecting upward at the tip of the zig-zag stem.

Looking down on a group of False Solomon's Seal with the terminal flowers still in their yellow-green buds.

Looking down on a group of False Solomon’s Seal with the terminal flowers still in their yellow-green buds.

A close up view of the flower cluster of False Solomon's Seal shows the stamens projecting out in all directions, which make the individual flowers appear as starbursts.

A close up view of the flower cluster of False Solomon’s Seal shows the stamens projecting out in all directions, which make the individual flowers appear as starbursts.

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