False Solomon's Seal (Smilacina Stellata) bears some resemblance to the last species, but the flowers are much larger and few in number, usually only six or eight terminating the zigzag stem. The leaves are broader at the bases and slightly clasp the stem, whereas those of the last species have very short stems. It grows commonly, but not as much so as the last, on moist banks and in meadows, from Me. to Minn, and southwards.
This is the common garden Asparagus that is sold in markets throughout the land. Few would think of it as belonging to the beautiful lily family but such is the case. Each scaly appendage on the vegetable, throws off a branch which divides and sub-divides into very numerous little branchlets, giving the plant an exceedingly beautiful and decorative appearance. The tiny yellow flowers appear in the axils of these branchlets during June. Later, bright red berries will be suspended on pedicels in place of the flowers. Asparagus is a common escape from gardens and may be met with anywhere.
A. Canada Mayflower.
B. False Solomon's Seal.
Three-Leaved .False Solomon's .Seal (Smilacina Trifolia) is the smallest member of the genus Smilacina. It is found rather commonly in bogs and wet woods. It is, however, not nearly as abundant as the next very similar species. The stem is straight and slender, from 2 to 6 in. high. It usually has three leaves, but sometimes two or even four; they are shining green, oblong-pointed and sheathing at the base, arranged at regular intervals along the stem. The flowers are white, few in number, on short peduncles in an open raceme at the summit of the stem. It is found from Labrador to Manitoba and southwards to N. J. and Mo., flowering during May and June.
Canada Mayflower; False Lily-Of-The-Valley (Maianthemum Canadense) is a very abundant woodland plant. It usually grows in colonies, thousands of them sometimes carpeting pine woods with their dark green glossy leaves. At a casual glance this species very closely resembles the last, but the distinction is very marked and as follows: The two, or three, broad, ovate-lanceolate, shiny green leaves are rather heart-shaped at the base, seated on the stem or very nearly so. The flower perianth has only four divisions whereas that of the last species has six. After the flowering season both of these plants have berries; at first a creamy white, spotted with brown, and later turning to a dull ruby-red.
It is unfortunate, and often confusing, that flowers should receive the common names that they do. Neither of these species in the least resembles the true Solomon's Seal and the only respect in which the False Lily-of-the-Valley resembles the real is that it usually has two leaves. This last species has the same range as the preceding.
Purple Twisted-stalk. Streptopus roseus.