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Solomon's Seal

(Polygonatum biflorum)

Other Names:

King Solomon's Seal

Range:

Family:

Asparagaceae Asparagus family

Identifying characteristics:

Growth Type:

Perennial, herbaceous

Height:

Up to 3ft long

Leaves:

Alternate, parallel veined

Stem/Trunk:

Single stem, slender, gently bent

Root:

Rootstock stout, whitish with large circular "seals"

Flower:

Season:

April to June

Appearance:

Drooping, whitish to yellowish-green, tubular or bell-like, 6 petaled, borne from a branched peduncle at each leaf stalk.

Seed/Fruit:

Bluish to black non-edible

Miscellaneous characteristics:

False Solomon's Seal Maianthemum racemosum appears similar at first glance, but upon closer inspection the differences are glaringly obvious. The flowers of False Solomon's Seal are are borne in an umbel at the end of the stem, rather than at each leaf stalk like those of Solomon's Seal. The berries are speckled with gold at first, but ripen to a ruby-red. The rootstock of M. racemosum has circular "seals" like P. biflorum, but they are slender and yellowish in color.

 

When young the stems of M. racemosum are considered edible, although I do not find them very appealing.

Habitat:

Rich woods

Parts Used:

Food: Young sprout, rootstock

Medicinal: Rootstock.

Uses:

Wild Food Uses:

Young shoots can be added to salads, or cooked and eaten as an asparagus substitute. The starchy rootstock can be eaten as a potato substitute.

The following text is meant for informational purposes only. It is not meant to diagnose or treat any illness or injury. Always consult with a physician or other qualified medical care provider concerning the diagnosis and treatment of any illness or injury.

Medicinal Uses:

This plant has been shown to be effective at treating indigestion, arthritis, cuts, bruises, sores, and lung ailments. It is said to also be effective at treating skin irritations.

Medicinal Actions:

Anticatarrhal, Antitussive, Demulcent, Emollient, Expectorant

This Photo borrowed from Up In The Valley

This photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

 
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Revised: 05/11/16 Living Afield