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Longstreet Highroad Guide to the Tennessee Mountains

By Vernon and Cathy Summerlin

Design by Lenz, Inc. Decatur, Georgia.

Tennessee Mountains > Sidebars > Solomon's Seal

Solomon's Seal

False solomon's seal (Smilacina racemosa) and solomon's seal (Poly-gonatum biflorum), both in the lily family (Liliaceae), produce similar stems and leaves, but the false solomon's seal flowers are on top of the leaves, and solomon's seal flowers are under the leaves. The false solomon's seal makes a showier flower than the true solomon's seal.

The age of a solomon's seal can be determined by counting the root scars; one is produced each year. Some plants have been found with 50 scars. The round root scar looks like the seal of King Solomon of the tenth century b.c., hence the name. Indians pulverized the root of solomon's seal to make flour and pickled the roots. Crushed roots were used to reduce or remove the black and blue from a bruise. A tea made from the leaves was drunk as a contraceptive.

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Published (print): 1999, Published (Web): January 2003, ISBN: 1-56352-475-9
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