Polygonatum biflorum (Solomon’s-seal/Smooth Solomon’s Seal)

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic

This native understory plant of moist woods is noted for its graceful arching stems, its dainty bell-like flowers, and the conspicuous veins of its leaves.  Its name may come either from the scars on the leaf stalk that are said to resemble the ancient Hebrew seal of King Solomon or from its wound sealing properties.

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Polygonatum biflorum (Solomon’s-seal or Smooth Solomon’s Seal)

Polygonatum biflorum, Smooth Solomon’s Seal, Perennial Height: 1–3 feet Spread: 1–11⁄2 feet Bloom Color: White or pale green Characteristics Upright, mounding herbaceous perennial with arching, unbranched stems up to 5 feet long Simple, opposite, parallel-veined, yellow-green leaves turn an attractive yellow in fall Greenish-white tubular flowers dangle in pairs (usually) along stalk from April to June Blue to black berries follow flowers Distinctive scars left when leaf stalks break away Slow spreading rhizomes may form colonies Attributes Tolerates erosion and wet soil; no serious pests or diseases; deer occasionally severely damage Berries are poisonous; only roots (digging rhizomes up kills plant) and young shoots are edible boiled Sometimes confused with false Solomon’s seal, which has upright flowers Attracts butterflies to nectar and birds to fruit Growing and Maintenance Tips Soil Requirements: Rich, acidic Light Requirements: Partial Shade, Shade Water Requirements: Dry, Moist Use in woodland gardens or naturalized areas; mix with ferns at the base of trees Hardiness: USDA Zones 3-8 Excellent Replacement for Hosta Non-native fernsLearn more about other Mid-Atlantic plants: Tried and True Plant Fact Sheets