Solomon’s Seal: Elegant Shade Plant, Eye Catching Dangling Flowers
Polygonatum biflorum var. commutatum (common name Solomon’s Seal) is an elegant shade plant that has gently arching stems and dangling creamy flowers. It will add height and grace to your shade in spring. It is a very easy plant to grow, and will slowly colonize, even in tough areas where shallow tree roots rob moisture and nutrients. An added bonus is that the foliage turns golden in fall.
Solomons seal is found in wooded areas with rich soil, thickets, and stream. It typically grows 3 to 5 feet, occasionally reaching a height of 7 feet . The stems can be described as stout and arching . Flowers are bell-shaped, greenish-white, and dangle. Flowers arise in spring from the leaf axils along and underneath of the arching stems. Flowers appear in clusters of 2 to 10 per leaf axil. Flowers are followed by attractive blue -black berries that are inedible and also dangle from the stems. Leaves are parallel-veined, alternate and grow to a length of 7 inches.
Nomenclature of this plant is somewhat controversial. There is both the Great Solomon’s Seal (can reach a height of 7 feet) and the small Solomon’s seal (only reaches a height of 3 feet). Each is native to eastern North America. There is unanimous agreement that the small Solomon’s seal is P. biflorum. There is considerable confusion as to what to call great Solomon’s seal. The current thinking seems to be that the great Solomon’s seal is a variety of P. biflorum, namely P. biflorum var. commutatum. It should be noted that the small and great Solomon’s seals do differ considerably related to plant size, flower, fruit size, leaf vein arrangement, and the number of flowers per axillary cluster. The result is that a number of authorities have assigned great Solomon’s seal separate species status as P. commutatum, P. canaliculatum or P. giganteum, all of these are considered to be synonymous with P. biflorum var. commutatum.
How To Make Your Solomon’s Seal Thrive
Solomon seal grows easily in medium to wet soils in either part shade or full shade. The ideal growing condition is moist soil in partial shade.
General Solomon’s Seal Information
Disease And Pests
No serious insect or disease problems.
Propagation is by dividing rhizomes.
Your best choices are to use this plant in woodland gardens, wild gardens, cottage gardens, native plant, or naturalized areas where it has plenty of room. It can also be used in containers, beds and borders. This is an ideal answer for your rain garden, or where erosion control is needed.
- Family: Asparagaceae
- Common Name: Solomon’s seal
- Type: Perennial
- Hardiness Zones: Zones 3 to 9
- Height: 3 to 7 feet
- Spread: 3 to 4 feet
- Bloom Time: May to June
- Bloom Color: Green, white
- Fruit: Showy purple fruit
- Leaves: Alternate leave, up to 6 inches in length and 4 inches across
- Sun: Part shade to full shade
- Water Requirement: Medium to wet, will tolerate wet soil
- Maintenance: Low
Google – Solomon’s Seal Photos
Flickr – Solomon’s Seal Photos