Soil: with humus, acid
Height: 20 cm
Width: 10 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 is looks like fallen cherry blossom. Heteropolygonatum is a very closely related genus, separated on technical grounds.Polygonatum SDR1615 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. So far we haven't identified it.
|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 fleshy green leaves. For a couple of weeks it is a real gem. The leaves then extend a bit, but before long it disappears again. Meanwhile its rhizomes will be spreading, and if you are lucky you may eventually get a mat up to a metre across, with hundreds, even thousands, of stems.|
|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.|