As a kid I learned to distinguish two flowers called Solomon’s seal, one identified as “True” and the other “False.” The flower perched above the leaves in the first, and below them in the second. The fruit of at least one of them was edible. I ate them, at any rate, and I didn’t get sick or see visions of Euell Gibbons.
Like most botanical knowledge acquired in my childhood, I feel certain of its identity when I’m in the woods, then begin to have doubts when I look it up at home. Wikipedia tells me there are more than 50 species in the genus Polygonatum. I wonder now whether this is one of them. I haven’t consulted my mother’s field guide to wildflowers, the reference I know the best.