Monday, May 24, 2010

Native Plant of the Month: Solomon's Seal

     I’m starting a new monthly feature that I’ve been thinking about doing for a while, but have neglected so far. Native plants. With everyone worried about water and the huge movement toward low maintenance plants, one of the easiest ways to get on board is by going with native plants as often as possible. If you put a native plant in the conditions where it likes to grow (sun vs. shade, swamp vs. dry) after it’s established, it won’t need any supplemental water.
     So, now I’m trying to decide which of the many natives that are near and dear to my heart do I want to talk about first. A new addition to our perennial ID bed on campus that is native and that I looove is Solomon’s seal, Polygonatum biflorum. This shade-loving perennial adds a touch of elegance to any garden with is graceful, arching stems and delicate white flowers. It is available in variegated varieties (left) as well as ‘giant’ Solomon’s seal which will grow a foot taller than the usual 24” height. It grows in a ‘clumping’ fashion, it doesn’t take over but politely spreads into a nice little group. It is without a doubt, one of my top 5 favorite shade perennials.
     With all the showy choices out there, sometimes it’s nice to have a subtle, elegant addition to your perennial border or bed.

Photo is courtesy of Missouri Botanical Garden PlantFinder
Jessica Logan Watters, GCLP     Horticulture Technician, Chattahoochee Technical College


  1. Solomon's Seal is definitely one of my favorite shade perennials as well. I've also fallen in love with Astilbe and Helleborus recently. What are your top 5 favorites you mentioned?

  2. Oh, they change all the time. I love helleborus and astilbe as well. I love ferns... all ferns. Heucheras...hostas... I can't designate an actual list of my favorites, but Solomon's Seal would be near the top if I attempted it.