Solomon's Seal (Polygonatum)

Solomon's Seal (Polygonatum) - Garden Basics - Flower - Perennial

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Plant InformationType: perennial
Propagation: division and seeds
Light: shade
Flower Color: greenish-white
Height: 1-3 feet (smaller) -- 1-6 feet (larger)
Width: 24 inches -- spreading habit
Soil Requirements: acid to neutral soil, composted, moist, well-drained
Zones: 5-9
Uses: groundcover, woodland setting

These perennials, native to many areas of North America, are admired for the blue berries that dangle from arching, unbranched stems in the late summer or early fall. The bell-shaped flowers are pale greenish-white and 1/2 to 1 inch long. They are borne in clusters beneath the leaf joints and bloom in the late spring. Small Solomon's seal grows 1 to 3 feet tall and usually bears clusters of one to three flowers, while great Solomon's seal reaches 2 to 6 feet in height and produces up to 10 flowers in each cluster. A lovely plant in any season, the foliage will tint yellow in autumn. Plants are deer resistant.

This plant is well suited to Northeastern Coniferous, Southeastern Coniferous and Deciduous Woodland and the Prairie environments. Provide partial to deep shade and humus-rich soil with a pH of 4.5 to 5.5 for small Solomon's seal and a pH of 5.0 to 7.0 for great Solomon's seal. The larger species, which frequently grows along streams, requires very moist soil, while the smaller does well under drier conditions. Plant rhizomes in spring or fall. They should be 1 to 2 inches deep and 12 inches apart with the tips of the growing shoots just below the surface of the soil. Plants can also be raised from seeds sown in the fall, but they take two to four years to flower. Plants can be divided in the spring. Established plants spread by rhizomes, and also reseed themselves.

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