Photo of the Week – April 19, 2012

We’ve been a little short on April showers this spring, but the warm weather is bringing on plenty of flowers.

False Solomon's seal flowers.

The little prairie garden in our yard is greening up much faster than it normally does.  Today, the False Solomon’s seal was blooming, and the thin clouds overhead made good conditions for photography.  White flowers can be tricky to photograph because it’s difficult to keep the white from washing out, even in diffused light.  To compensate, I underexposed the photos (made them look a little darker than I normally would) and then brightened them carefully with Adobe Photoshop.

False Solomon's seal. Aurora, Nebraska

False Solomon’s seal (Maianthemum stellatum) is a widespread species that occurs across most of North America.  In Nebraska, it is found in both grasslands and woodlands.  Along the Platte River, I see it both on the tops of sand ridges in lowland meadows, as well as in the nearby cottonwood woodlands.  It’s also common in the oak woodlands in the eastern part of the state.

False Solomon’s seal is named for its similarity to the true Solomon’s seal (Polygonatum biflorum), which does have a somewhat similar appearance, but the flowers of true Solomon’s seal emerge from the axils of the leaves rather than from the top of the plant.


About Chris Helzer

Chris Helzer is the Director of Science for The Nature Conservancy in Nebraska. His main role is to evaluate and capture lessons from the Conservancy’s land management and restoration work and then share those lessons with other landowners – both private and public. In addition, Chris works to raise awareness about the importance of prairies and their conservation through his writing, photography, and presentations to various groups. Chris is also the author of "The Ecology and Management of Prairies in the Central United States", published by the University of Iowa Press. He lives in Aurora, Nebraska with his wife Kim and their children.
This entry was posted in General, Prairie Natural History, Prairie Photography, Prairie Plants and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Photo of the Week – April 19, 2012

  1. Gracie says:

    So beautiful and delicate.

  2. Dena says:

    How funny – this is the second mention I’ve come across today of False Solomon’s Seal and I’d never heard of it before this morning. Good to know the difference as they are both quite beautiful flowers!


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