Bending in splendid architecture, the stem of Solomon's seal curves in a Romanesque arch and, in elegant order, bears leaves above and flowers below.
Polygonatum biflorum (Walt.) Ell.
The flowers are green, narrow bells with six slightly recurving flower parts. Inside are the six, polleny stamens and the thin pistil. The leaves, much like those of false spikenard, are oval, tapered, and stand erect above the stem. The fruits, hanging in pairs or trios as the flowers did, are as big as a large pea, at first are green and then turn a dark Prussian blue.
Back of the name given to Solomon's seal is the mystic symbol known as the Seal of Solomon, far back in the days of the Old Testament. The Seal was composed of two interlacing triangles, one light and the other dark, representing the union of the soul and the body, just as the Chinese mystic symbol of the Yang and the Yin carried out the same idea. In the ancient legend, the Seal of Solomon was actually a finger ring with a mirror in the center in which Solomon, in a sort of ancient television, could see persons and events far away. Much later, the symbolic representation of the two triangles forming a six-pointed star was used as an amulet to ward off fevers and illnesses.
The days of King Solomon and his mystic seal and the ring in which he saw visions seem to be remote and to have no connection with any plant in an Illinois woods. But the connection is there. Someone more discerning than the. rest, in the early days of America, saw the strange knobby rootstocks of the Solomon's seal and discovered in certain scars on the rootstocks a striking resemblance to the fabulous Seal of Solomon.