False Solomon's-Seal
Smilacina racemosa
Family Liliaceae

* Leaf oval, pointed, arranged alternate along the stem, 5-8" long.
* Flowers creamy white, in a spirea-like cluster at the tip of the stem; True Solomon's Seal has flowers under the leaf axils.
* Fruit a berry, whitish and speckled with brown, later turning to ruby red.
* Height: 1-2'.

Natural History:
* Flowers May - July.
* Habitat: Forest floors.
* Range: Canada south to Missouri and the mountains of North Carolina.
* Native.

* "Reached the Highland Light about 2 p.m. The Smilacina is just out of bloom on the bank. They call it the 'wood lily' there. Uncle Sam called it 'snake corn', and said it looked like corn when it first came up."
-Henry David Thoreau, on Cape Cod on June 18, 1857

* Early naturalists referred to the plant as having the taste of treacle, which was a mixture of herbs, honey, and snake venom, used to prevent poison and the plague.


Created by: Allaire Diamond and Jiasuey Hsu
Maintained by: Nick Rodenhouse
Created: July 31, 1998
Last Modified: November 21, 2008