Polygonatum biflorum (Smooth Solomon's Seal)

Scientific Name

Polygonatum biflorum Elliott

Common Names

Smooth Solomon's Seal, Great Solomon's Seal, Solomon's Seal, American Solomon's Seal, King Solomon's Seal

Synonyms

Polygonatum biflorum f. biflorum, Convallaria biflora, Polygonatum multiflorum var. biflorum, Salomonia biflora, Sigillaria biflora

Scientific Classification

Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Nolinoideae
Genus: Polygonatum

Flower

Color: Greenish yellow
Bloom Time: Spring

Description

Polygonatum biflorum is a rhizomatous upright and arching wildflower. It typically grows in a mound on up to 3 feet (90 cm) tall, unbranched stems. Flowers are small, bell-shaped, greenish-yellow, usually appear in pairs, and dangle on short pedicels in spring from the leaf axils along and underneath the arching stems. Blue-black berries follow them in fall. Conspicuously parallel-veined, alternate leaves are up to 4 inches (10 cm) long, smooth on both sides, and turn an attractive yellow in fall.

Polygonatum biflorum (Smooth Solomon's Seal)
Photo via thompson-morgan.com

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zones 3a to 8b: from −40 °F (−40 °C) to 20 °F (−6.7 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Plants are usually started by transplants or rhizomes. Seeds of Polygonatum can take up to 2 years to sprout, so that you will get some seeding in established plantings.

Solomon's Seal like a rich organic soil with a pH in the acidic to the neutral zone. These plants need some shade to thrive truly. The damp shade is even better, although once established, they are quite drought-tolerant. Plants can be started in the spring or fall. Plant only 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm) deep and about 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7.5 cm) apart.

Solomon's Seal seldom needs division. It takes several years before a clump is large enough to divide for propagation purposes. When ready, divide in early spring or fall and leave several buds on each division for the best success. The rhizomes can be divided even further, but it will take longer for them to become established. Another option is to remove and plant just the offsets at the out edges of a clump. See more at How to Grow and Care for Solomon's Seal.

Origin

Polygonatum biflorum is native to eastern and central North America.

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