Smilacina racemosa

False Solomons seal
Grows from cylindrical rhizomes about 0.3 m long.
Price Code: 
Limited Supply

Smilacina racemosa (Treacleberry, False Solomon's Seal, Solomon's plume or False Spikenard) is native to the woodlands of eastern North America.

This interesting species produces attractive flowers and berries and has very nice foliage. It has a similar appearance to Smilacina stellata (Starry False Solomon's Seal), but the latter species produces a raceme of flowers, rather than a branching panicle. The flowers of Starry False Solomon's Seal are somewhat larger in size and fewer in number (less than 20 per raceme), and its leaves are more narrow. Another species, Polygonatum commutatum (Solomon's Seal), has very similar foliage, but its leaves slightly clasp the central stem. The flowers of Solomon's Seal have a very different appearance; their corolla is tubular-shaped and greenish white. Furthermore, the flowers of Solomon's Seal hang from the central stem in small umbels of 1-5 flowers; these umbels develop from the base of each leaf. The scientific name of Smilacina racemosa is something of a misnomer as this species produces flowers in panicles, rather than racemes. Another common name for this species is Solomon's Plume, although it appears to be passing out of fashion.

The plant's preference is light shade to partial sun, moist to slightly dry conditions, and a fertile loamy soil with abundant organic material (i.e., decaying leaves). Sandy and rocky soil are also tolerated. It is a very adaptable species.

From  The flowers are pollinated by small bees, flies, and beetles. The bees collect pollen from the flowers, while flies and beetles feed on pollen. The flowers appear to attract more than the usual number of beetles, including Seed Beetles, Long-Horned Beetles, Click Beetles, Blister Beetles, Tumbling Flower Beetles, Flower Scarab Beetles (Trichiotinus spp.), and Pedilid Beetles (Pedilus spp.). The berries are eaten occasionally by woodland birds, including the Ruffed Grouse and are also eaten by the White-Footed Mouse. These animals spread the seeds into new areas. The foliage is browsed occasionally by the White-Tailed Deer.

The provenance of our selection is our property, Harford County, Maryland.

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