Friday, May 24, 2013

true or false

Solomon's Plume
This magnificent woodland wildflower, Smilacina racemosa, (if you play the Latin version of Scrabble, these are two great words) I learned as False Solomon's Seal and it is closely related to Polygonatum biflorum or True Solomon's Seal. 

But who's say which one is true and which one is false, they both look straightforwardly true to me. And the one is not trying to imitate the other. So today most naturalists refer to this one as Solomon's Plume because it produces a plume/raceme of white flowers at the end of the stem. The other, known simply as Solomon's Seal, produces greenish-white tubular flowers arranged in pairs, dangling from the stem like Japanese lanterns.

But one is no less true than the other.

Solomon's Seal

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