[The Genus Maianthemum in the Columbia River Gorge of Oregon and Washington]

Feathery False Lily-of-the-valley, False Solomon Seal, Large False Solomon's Seal, Plumed Solomon's Seal, Plumed Spikenard, Western Solomon Plume

Maianthemum racemosum ssp. amplexicaule

Synonyms: Smilacina amplexicaulis, Smilacina amplexicaulis var. amplexicaulis, Smilacina amplexicaulis var. glabra, Smilacina racemosa

Feathery False Lily-of-the-valley, False Solomon Seal, Large False Solomon's Seal, Plumed Solomon's Seal, Plumed Spikenard, Western Solomon Plume: Maianthemum racemosum ssp. aplexicaule (Synonym: Smilacina amplexicaulis, Smilacina amplexicaulis var. amplexicaulis, Smilacina amplexicaulis var. glabra, Smilacina racemosa)

False solomon seal as seen along the trail to McCord Creek, western Columbia River Gorge..........April 22, 2015.

Feathery False Lily-of-the-valley, False Solomon Seal, Large False Solomon's Seal, Plumed Solomon's Seal, Plumed Spikenard, Western Solomon Plume: Maianthemum racemosum ssp. aplexicaule (Synonyms: Smilacina amplexicaulis, Smilacina amplexicaulis var. amplexicaulis, Smilacina amplexicaulis var. glabra, Smilacina racemosa) Characteristics:

False Solomon seal is an attractive perennial wildflower. The stout flower stems arise 30-90 cm high from a network of rhizomes. The herbage ranges from somewhat glabrous to finely haired. The 8-16 leaves alternate along the stems and are ovate to ovate-oblong or ovate-elliptic in shape with the blade narrowing gradually to a point. The base of each blade is sessile or clasping and the leaves range from 7-20 cm long and 4-8 cm wide. The venation is parallel and the entire margins may be somewhat wavy.

The inflorescence consists of numerous small white flowers in a freely branched panicle from 3-12 cm long. The tepals are narrowly oblong in shape and about 1.5 mm long. The stamens are about 2.5-3 mm long and ovate-lanceolate in shape. The stamens are generally much wider than the tepals. The fruit is a globose reddish berry from 5-7 mm in diameter.

False Solomon seal is a pretty wildflower suitable for the woodland garden. Due to its height, it is probably best utilized in the middle or back of flower beds or it can be planted next to the trunks of trees or intermittently through the woodland.


Habitat:

False Solomon seal is a plant of most shady woods, streambanks, and open forests from near sea level to medium elevations in the mountains. East of the Cascades it may be found in open riparian areas or moist streambanks and even occasionally on higher prairie ridgetops. In such situations it is generally much reduced in size and may even be confused with its smaller cousin, star-flowered false Solomon seal.


Range:

False Solomon seal may be found from Alaska to California and east to Nova Scotia and south to Georgia, Mississippi, Missouri, Colorado and Arizona.

In the Columbia River Gorge it may be found between the elevations of 100'-4000' from Troutdale, OR east towards Mosier, OR.


Inflorescence of Feathery False Lily-of-the-valley, False Solomon Seal, Large False Solomon's Seal, Plumed Solomon's Seal, Plumed Spikenard, Western Solomon Plume: Maianthemum racemosum ssp. aplexicaule (Synonyms: Smilacina amplexicaulis, Smilacina amplexicaulis var. amplexicaulis, Smilacina amplexicaulis var. glabra, Smilacina racemosa)

The photo above shows the panicle of false solomon seal as seen on Mt. Adams.

Feathery False Lily-of-the-valley, False Solomon Seal, Large False Solomon's Seal, Plumed Solomon's Seal, Plumed Spikenard, Western Solomon Plume: Maianthemum racemosum ssp. aplexicaule (Synonym: Smilacina amplexicaulis, Smilacina amplexicaulis var. amplexicaulis, Smilacina amplexicaulis var. glabra, Smilacina racemosa) - Feathery False Lily-of-the-valley, False Solomon Seal, Large False Solomon's Seal, Plumed Solomon's Seal, Plumed Spikenard, Western Solomon Plume: Maianthemum racemosum ssp. aplexicaule (Synonym: Smilacina amplexicaulis, Smilacina amplexicaulis var. amplexicaulis, Smilacina amplexicaulis var. glabra, Smilacina racemosa)

Two examples of false solomon seal as seen on basalt outcrops along the Eagle Creek Trail, Columbia River Gorge...........May 20, 2013.

Fruits of Feathery False Lily-of-the-valley, False Solomon Seal, Large False Solomon's Seal, Plumed Solomon's Seal, Plumed Spikenard, Western Solomon Plume: Maianthemum racemosum ssp. aplexicaule (Synonym: Smilacina amplexicaulis, Smilacina amplexicaulis var. amplexicaulis, Smilacina amplexicaulis var. glabra, Smilacina racemosa)

Fruits of false solomon seal as seen along the Cape Horn Trail about one-half mile west of the Skamania County Transit Park & Ride lot near milepost 26 on Washington Highway 14 at Salmon Falls Road............July 3, 2016.

Feathery False Lily-of-the-valley, False Solomon Seal, Large False Solomon's Seal, Plumed Solomon's Seal, Plumed Spikenard, Western Solomon Plume: Maianthemum racemosum ssp. aplexicaule (Synonym: Smilacina amplexicaulis, Smilacina amplexicaulis var. amplexicaulis, Smilacina amplexicaulis var. glabra, Smilacina racemosa) -- Feathery False Lily-of-the-valley, False Solomon Seal, Large False Solomon's Seal, Plumed Solomon's Seal, Plumed Spikenard, Western Solomon Plume: Maianthemum racemosum ssp. aplexicaule (Synonym: Smilacina amplexicaulis, Smilacina amplexicaulis var. amplexicaulis, Smilacina amplexicaulis var. glabra, Smilacina racemosa)

False solomon seal as seen along the Angels Rest Trail in the Columbia River Gorge.................May 18, 2009.

Feathery False Lily-of-the-valley, False Solomon Seal, Large False Solomon's Seal, Plumed Solomon's Seal, Plumed Spikenard, Western Solomon Plume: Maianthemum racemosum ssp. aplexicaule (Synonyms: Smilacina amplexicaulis, Smilacina amplexicaulis var. amplexicaulis, Smilacina amplexicaulis var. glabra, Smilacina racemosa)
False solomon seal as seen on Mt. Adams.

Paul Slichter