Rootstock/Rhizome is jointed, leaf stalk breaks away, leaving distinctive scar said to resemble the official seal of King Solomon. The Rhizomes are starchy and edible- in fact, early Americans even used them as a potato like food. According to Edward Denison, he suggests the name refers to ‘wound sealing properties of the plant’. Early herbalists even believed that plants with jointed rhizomes were helpful in treating human joint disorders
Genus comes from Greek Poly meaning “many”, and gonu meaning “knee joint”, in reference to the jointed rhizomes. Specific epithet biflorum means “twin flowered”. The berries are poisonous due to Anthraquinone, which has a low toxicity and will induce light vomiting or diarrhea.