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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.

  • Family (English) Lily-of-the-Valley
  • Family (botanic) Ruscaceae
  • Tree or plant type Perennial
  • Native locale Chicago area, Illinois, North America
  • Size range Medium plant (12-24 inches), Large plant (more than 24 inches)
  • Light exposure Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily), Full shade (4 hrs or less of light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 3, Zone 4, Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7, Zone 8, Zone 9
  • Soil preference Moist, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Wet sites
  • Season of interest mid spring, late spring, early summer
  • Flower color and fragrance Fragrant, Yellow
  • Shape or form Upright
  • Growth rate Moderate
  • Wildlife Birds, Insect pollinators

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. 

Leaf description:

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). 

Flower description:

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).

Fruit description:

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. 


Plant Care:

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.


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