The arching stems of feathery false Solomon’s seal have uniformly spaced leaves and are topped by feathery clusters of white to pale yellow star-shaped flowers. The fragrant flowers bloom in the mid-spring to early summer and are followed by berries that ripen to a bright red. Feathery false Solomon’s seal is recommended for shady areas, including naturalized woodlands, beds, and borders, as well as areas near ponds and streams. This species is native to the Chicago region according to Swink and Wilhelm’s Plants of the Chicago Region and current research.
Size and method of spreading:
Feathery false Solomon’s seal grows to 1 to 2 feet wide and 1 to 3 feet long, with stems that arch. The plants spread by producing offsets from stout underground stem structures (rhizomes) and by seeds distributed by birds and mice.
Native geographic location and habitat: (include C-value if appropriate)
Feathery false Solomon’s seal is native to the entire continental United States. C Value: 5.
Attracts birds or pollinators:
Feathery false Solomon’s seal attracts bees of various species, deer, mice, and woodland birds.
Similar to the leaves of Solomon’s seal, the leaves of feathery false Solomon’s seal alternate uniformly along the arching stems. The leaves can grow to 6 inches in length and 3 inches in width. They are a bright light to medium green and have three to five prominent main veins that originate from the point of connection to the short leaf stalk (petiole) and follow the shape of the elliptic or broadly ovate leaves. Feathery false Solomon’s seal leaves taper to a strong point (acuminate apices).
At the terminal ends of the stems of feathery false Solomon’s seal, large, fluffy-looking clusters of tiny white or pale yellow flowers occur. The clusters (panicles) are between 1 and 4 inches long and contain between 50 and 250 flowers. Each individual flower is one-eighth to one-quarter of an inch wide and star-shaped. Though the flowers appear to have six petals, they are composed of three petals and three petallike sepals. The petals and sepals are narrow, pointed, slightly reflexed, and surround the bases of six pollen-bearing structures (stamens). The stamens encompass the stout ovary (superior) that tapers to a shallowly divided tip (three-parted stigma).
Feathery false Solomon’s seal produces clusters of green berries that turn red as they ripen. The berries are approximately one-eighth of an inch in diameter. Birds and mice distribute the seeds after ingesting the berries.
In sites with drier soils, feathery false Solomon’s seal growth may be stunted.
List of pests, diseases, and tolerances:
Feathery false Solomon’s seal is not susceptible to diseases, but attracts a number of beetle species that may cause minor damage to the flowers.