Polygonatum biflorum 

(pol-ee-go-naa' tum bii-floor' um)

Common name: Solomon's Seal

Family: Asparagaceae (asparagus family, formerly listed under Convallariaceae, originally under Liliaceae)

Height x width: 1-3' x 2'

Growth rate: moderate

Foliage: arching stems, 2 rows of alternate, flat, 3-5" long lance-shaped leaves clasping the stem

Flowers: creamy green flowers, tubular adn ½-1" long, usually paired, hanging down from leaf axils in spring with blue-black fruits in early to midsummer eaten by birds and small mammals

Hardiness: zones 3-7

Soil: moist, organic

Light: part to full shade, will tolerate sun in North if sufficient moisture

Pests and Problems: none serious, occasionally slug feeding

Landscape habit, uses: woodland and natural gardens, shade borders, wildlife

Other interest: this species native to eastern U.S. and south central Canada; genus name from Greek polys meaning many and gonu meaning joint, refering to the many jointed rhizome; several theories exist on the origin of the common name, all relating to shape and characteristics of the root and their relevance to King Solomon

Other culture: does not do well in heat and dry

Propagation:division of rhizome in spring, with at least one eye per division, seeds stratified at least 6 weeks at 40ºF

Related Taxa:

The following are similar to the above native species except as noted. *common in ornamental gardens
Taxa, common name height native other  
commutatum, Great Solomon's Seal 3-7' U.S., Mexico needs space to colonize  
falcatum, Dwarf Solomon's Seal 12-18" Asia sickle-shaped leaves, zone 6  
falcatum 'Pumilum' 10-15" Asia as above  
hirtum, Dwarf Solomon's Seal 6-9" Asia 3-5 flowers per axil, zone 5  
hookeri, Dwarf Solomon's Seal 3-5" China lilac, purple flowers  
humile, Dwarf Solomon's Seal 6-9" Asia zones 5-8  
x hybridum, Hybrid Solomon's Seal 2' hybrid zones 6-8  
x hybridum 'Flore Pleno' 2' hybrid double flowers  
x hybridum 'Striatum' 2' hybrid leaves striped cream white  
multiflorum, Eurasian Solomon's Seal 2-3' Eurasia leaves 3-6" long  
odoratum, Fragrant Solomon's Seal 18-24" Eurasia slightly fragrant  
odoratum var. thungergii 2-3' Eurasia 6" leaves, 1½" flowers  
odoratum var. pluriflorum  'Variegatum' *
18-24" Eurasia leaves edged creamy white  

©Authored by Dr. Leonard Perry, Professor, University of Vermont as part of PSS123 course.

Return to  Perry's Perennial Pages | HGPO course | PSS123 course