Polygonatum biflorum

Asparagaceae

 

Habitat: partial or full shade

 

Soil: moist, well drained

 

Height: 80 cm

 

Flowering: mid spring to early summer

 

Width: 50 cm

           


           

Solomon's seal is a well-known garden plant, but the genus covers a wider range of plants. The familiar ones have arching stems, perhaps a metre tall, with opposite pairs of leaves and a pair of flowers hanging from each each leaf axil. There are many variations on this theme, but less well known are some elegant plants, much smaller, some with quite deep pink flowers. There are also a few really dwarf alpines, in which the pink flowers emerge flat on the ground, and when a colony is in flower it looks like fallen cherry blossom. Heteropolygonatum is a very closely related genus, separated on technical grounds.

Polygonatum biflorum is also found under the name Polygonatum giganteum, with the common name Giant Solomon's Seal, so this should be extra large, but it really isn't much bigger than other species, unless really well grown. It has pairs of creamy white flowers, green towards
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Polygonatum - some other suggestions
polygonatum_hookeri.jpg Polygonatum hookeri is a complete contrast to most members of this genus, such as Solomon's seal, which are too tall for the rock garden. This one doesn't appear above ground until at least May, and then a few starry pink flowers on each stem push through, clasped by the fle
invisible.gif Polygonatum x hybridum is the garden Solomon's seal, also sometimes known as David's harp. It makes a clump of the usual tall arching stems, with two tubular white bells hanging beside each pair of leaves. It is a hybrid of Polygonatum multiflorum (the common Solomon's seal) and P. odoratum, the angular Solomon's seal.
invisible.gif Polygonatum orientale has greenish white flowers.
polygonatum_sdr1615a.jpg Polygonatum prattii makes slender stems with very narrow leaves, in the axils of which appear dusky pink flowers, which in due course are followed by dark red fruit. It isn't showy, but will appeal to people who like subtle colours.
invisible.gif Polygonatum roseum comes from central Asia, through to parts of China. Unusually, the flowers, which come in several pairs from each leaf axil, are pale or deeper pink.