Polygonatum biflorum, 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.

Print Version: Polygonatum biflorum, 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 ferns
Learn more about other Mid-Atlantic plants: Tried and True Plant Fact Sheets