Plate XII

False Solomon's Seal (Smilacina amplexicaulis)

False Solomon's Seal (Smilacina amplexicaulis)

Stems: stout, ascending, leafy. Leaves: oval, clasping, acuminate, their margins minutely ciliate. Flowers: panicle densely flowered; perianth-segments oblong. Fruit: red aromatic berry, flecked with purple.

The long leafy wands of the False Solomon's Seal are exceedingly attractive, with their handsome terminal clusters of little creamy blossoms that look like feathery plumes as they wave gently to and fro in the soft summer breeze and cast their faint fragrance across the woods. Very handsome, too, are the leaves of this large plant. Why it is banned with such a base name as False Solomon's Seal I do not know. There is nothing "false" about it except its name; and while its luxuriant broad foliage resembles that of both the True Solomon's Seal and the Twisted-stalk, still its flowers are entirely different, growing in close terminal panicles, whereas those of the other plants mentioned grow in small individual bells from the axils of the leaves. However, False Solomon's Seal is its name, and by such it is known all over the world.

Plate XII

False Solomon's Seal (Smilacina amplexicaulis)

False Solomon's Seal (Smilacina amplexicaulis)

Smilacina stollata, or Star-flowered Solomon's Seal, looks to ordinary eyes very like a wild Lily-of-the-Valley, and grows near the banks of mountain streams and in the moist meadows. It is a lovely plant, stands up very stiff and straight out of the ground, and has stout stems which are leafy all the way from the base to the slender flower racemes. These racemes are composed of from five to fifteen little starry blossoms, each one having a white six-parted perianth. The leaves are of a whitish-green hue, and the fruit is a bright red berry clothed with purple.