Maianthemum racemosum – False Solomon’s Seal

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False Solomon’s Seal (Maianthemum racemosum) is a native woodland plant with edible berries.
False Solomon’s seal has a long, arching stem and berries that turn bright red in late summer. It is in the Asparagus family.
Berries are edible, but bittersweet. Berries should be eaten in moderation as large quantities can have a laxative effect. Young leaves are edible, but unpalatable. Dried rhizomes have been turned into a tea to treat coughs and constipation.
False Solomon’s seal must be differentiated from true Solomon’s seal (Polygonatum spp.), another native plant in the Asparagus family. True Solomon’s seal has poisonous purple berries along the underside of the stem, while False Solomon’s seal has edible red berries that are clustered at the end of the stem. Although the leaves look nearly identical in these two plants, they are easily differentiated by the color and placement of the berries.

Written by Amy Demers, founder of the Connecticut Foraging Club. To learn more about foraging in Connecticut, check out our upcoming classes.

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