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Any of about 25 species of herbaceous perennials that make up the genus Polygonatum (family Ruscaceae), found throughout the Northern Hemisphere. Particularly common in the eastern U.S. and Canada, Solomon's seals flourish in damp, wooded areas and thickets. They have thick, creeping rhizomes and tall, drooping stems, and they bear clusters of white or greenish-white flowers in the axils of leaves, followed by drooping red berries. Similar plants of the genus Smilacina, known as false Solomon's seal, bear their flower clusters at the tips of the stems.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Solomon's seal, visit Britannica.com.