False Solomon's Seal

False Solomon's Seal, False Spikenard, Smilacina racemosasum

False Solomon's Seal in bloom, photographer, Martha Rasmussen

False Solomon's Seal also called False Spikenard is sometimes is confused with True Solomon Seal belonging to the Polygonatum  and False Solomon's Seal belonging to the Smilacina, both are in the Liliaceae, (Lily) family, perennials spreading by roots along marshy banks and damp woodlands.  The name Spikenard is given to this plant because of the "nard", a fragrant ointment that was made from the flowers.

False Solomon's Seal going to seed, photographer Martha Rasmussen

You will find this flower starting to bloom in May and in higher elevations through June. The stem can grow up to 3 feet tall, leaves are parallel and veined with plumy clusters of flowers forming at the tip of the stem.  The flowers which are quite fragrant start off brilliant white quickly turning a creamy color.  You will often find this flower growing in large patches with its white to creamy flowers against deep green foliage.  A couple of good trails to see False Solomon's Seal is North Fork Sauk and Bedal Creek trails, also the Scenic Backroad Drive to Cumberland Pass.