Polygonatum biflorum facts for kids
Quick facts for kidsSmooth Solomon's-seal
Polygonatum biflorum (smooth Solomon's-seal, great Solomon's-seal, Solomon's seal). The plant is said to possess scars on the rhizome that resemble the ancient Hebrew seal of King Solomon. This is a species of the genus Polygonatum native to eastern and central North America. It is often confused with Solomon's plume which has upright flowers.
Unbranched leaf stalks of one to several feet in length, with simple, alternate leaves and parallel veins. In May, clusters of small white-green flowers droop from the stalks and later produce small blue berries. If dug up, the scars resembling Solomon's Seal may be visible on the nodes between sections of rhizomes.
The species name biflorum is the neuter form of Latin biflorus, meaning "having two flowers". Despite the name, the flower clusters often have more than two flowers.
P. biflorum is now regarded as including a number of other species and varieties, e.g. P. biflorum var. commutatum or P. commutatum.
Historically, the Native Americans consumed the starch-rich rhizomes of smooth Solomon's-seal as a "potato-like food" used to make breads and soups. The young shoots are also edible, raw or boiled for an asparagus-like food. Smooth Solomon's-seal was also used in herbal medicine. For example, the rhizome was used in making a tonic for gout and rheumatism. Smooth Solomon's-seal has had nearly a dozen uses in herbal medicine including as an anti-inflammatory, sedative, and tonic. Smooth Solomon's-seal is not used in large-scale agriculture.
|Mary the Jewess|