This morning my attention was caught by a clump of Solomon’s Seal in our front garden. This wild flower is a beauty, lithe and flexible. Perfect white bells hang in pairs from arching stems. A dear friend, wise in plant lore, once told me how to differentiate between True Solomon’s Seal and False Solomon’s Seal (commonly known as Spikenard). False Solomon’s Seal produces a feathery tuft of white blossoms at its stem tips, rather than the cuplike bells that bloom at leaf junctures of the True. Another difference is seen in the fall. Spikenard’s fruit is purplish or red and weighs the branches to the ground, while the fruit of True Solomon’s Seal remains green, rather like peas in size and appearance.
Thinking of these plants brings to mind how we can be fooled by false values masquerading as something they’re not, and whether we can tell the difference. Surely some measurement should exist to help in this business of sorting truth from falsehood. The Bible says: By their fruits ye shall know them. Unfortunately the results of our actions and beliefs are not so easily identified. What thoughts do you have on this subject?