Stem slender or stout, erect or ascending, sometimes zigzag, 1 to 3 feet tall, simple, bearing numerous alternate, sessile or nearly sessile oblong-lanceolate or oval, acuminate leaves, 3 to 6 inches long, 1 to 3 inches wide, which are finely pubescent, especially beneath, and sometimes also above, their margins minutely ciliate. Rootstock rather thick and fleshy with numerous long, fibrous roots, the scars of former stems irregular and ringlike. Flowers white; many, forming a large terminal panicle, I to 4 inches long; each flower about 2 lines broad; perianth of six oblong, equal, separate, spreading segments. Fruit a red, aromatic berry about 3 lines in diameter and speckled with purple. In Bergen swamp occurs a variety with three to six purple stripes like the fruit of V. s t e 11 a t a.

In moist woods and thickets, Nova Scotia to British Columbia, south to Georgia, Missouri and Arizona.

The Star-flowered Solomon's-seal (Vagnera stellata (Linnaeus) Morong) is scarcely less abundant, but seems to prefer thickets and banks with more moisture. The leaves are smaller and narrower, the flowers fewer in number, larger, white, and racemed; the berries green with six black stripes, or entirely black.

Memoir 15 N. Y. State Museum

Plate 18

Wild Or False Spikenard; False Solomon's Seal

Wild Or False Spikenard; False Solomon's-Seal - Vagnera racemosa