Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Solomon's Seal

Polygonatum

Typically rhizomatous spreading plants wiht graceful arching stems bearing white flowers along their length, Solomon's Seals used properly can be among the most spectacular of shade garden plants.
They are very easy to grow on deep, fertile, moist soil in light shade.
Mulching is recommended during spring to retain moisture for the summer months.
Most natural mulches are acceptable but leaf mold is preferred.
New plants may take up to 2 years to become fully established.
The seeds may take up to 2 years to germinate. They can also be propagated from root division while dormant during autumn or early spring - make sure each piece has at least 1 bud and is planted at the same depth as originally.
Solomon's Seals are loved by Hummingbirds and unfortunately also deer which are known to chomp off the plants slightly above ground level. On sites protected from deer, they are very easy to grow, rarely bothered by insects or disease.

* photos taken on May 8 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.

* photo taken on Aug 3 2010 @ Univ. of Guelph Arboretum, Ontario

* photo taken on October 17 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.



* photo taken on May 7 2014 @ London Town Gardens, Edgewater, MD

* photo taken on Apr 23 2017 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD

* historic archive photo


Polygonatum biflorum ( Smooth Solomon's Seal )
A fast growing, clump-forming perennial, reaching up to 3 x 3 feet in 5 years, that is native to rich open woodlands of the central and eastern North America ( from Nebraska to southern Ontario to Connecticut, south to eastern Texas to central Florida ). In the Windsor/Essex County, Ontario region; it was abundant in southern and western Essex County as well as the Ohio shore during the 1800s. It was also abundant at Detroit, Michigan during presettlement era. Eventually with time it may slowly spread to cover an area as large as 13 feet. Though very rare, heights as much as 6 feet have been reported.
The alternately arranged, pointed, lance-shape or elliptical leaves, up to 6 inches in length, are deep green above, glaucous blue beneath. The foliage remains healthy into fall though can be prone to browsing by deer. The leaves turn to bright yellow during autumn.
The hanging, greenish-white, bell-shaped flowers, up to 1 inches in length, are borne in pairs during late spring to early summer.
They are followed by black berries.
Hardy zones 3 to 8, thriving as far north as Newfoundland.

* photo taken on may 8 2010 @ McCrillis Gardens, Bethesda, MD





* photo of unknown internet source

* photos taken on Aug 1 2013 in Stratford, Ontario

* photo taken @ U.S. Botanical Garden, Wash., DC on Aug 25 2014

* photo taken on Apr 23 2017 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD

* photo taken on Apr 28 2017 in Ellicott City, MD

* photos taken by Mark A. Garland @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database


Polygonatum cirrhifolium
A tall perennial, reaching a maximum height of 8 feet, that is a widespread native of the Himalayas. The erect to leaning stems bear narrow lance-shaped leaves, up to 6 x 0.6 inches in size, that are mid-green. The leaf tips often curl to latch onto supports.
The white, bell-shaped flowers, up to an inch in length, are borne in axilliary clusters along the stems. They are followed by translucent red berries.
Hardy zones 5 to 8

Polygonatum commutatum ( Giant Solomons Seal )
Also called Polygonatum canalicatum. A vigorous, rapid spreading, long lived perennial native to the prairie, wooded riverbanks and open woodlands of the central and eastern North America ( from far southeast Saskatchewan to Kenora, Ontario to Thunder Bay, Ontario to Sault Ste Marie to Chalk River, Ontario to Quebec & Maine; south to the Gulf Coast ). In the Windsor/Essex County, Ontario region; it was abundant in southern and western Essex County, the Lake Erie islands and the Ohio shore during the 1800s. It was also abundant at Detroit, Michigan during presettlement era. It is endangered in Saskatchewan. It can eventually reach a maximum size of 10 x 6.5 feet ( typically under 6 feet in height ) with hundreds of close stalks.
The arching stems bear ovate leaves are up to 8 inches in length. The foliage is luxuriant green, turning to intense bright to golden-yellow during autumn.
The flowers, up to 1.3 inches in length, are borne in clusters of 2 to 10.
They are followed by very showy deep purple berries that contrast very well with the autumn foliage.
Hardy zones 3 to 7. In places where it may become too large, clumps can be easily divided while dormant...give the extras to your neighbors, they would be crazy not to want one of these beautiful plants.

* photo taken on 4th of July in Washington, D.C.

* photo of unknown internet source

* photo taken @ Smithsonian Inst, Wash., DC on Aug 25 2014

* photo taken on Oct 21 2014 @ Smithsonian Inst., Washington, DC

* photo taken on July 25 2015 @ Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario

* photo taken on July 14 2016 in Tobermory, ON

* photos taken on May 27 2017 @ Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, Vienna, VA

* photos taken on May 27 2017 @ Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, Vienna, VA

* photo taken by Robert H. Mohlenbrock @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database


Polygonatum curvistylum
A clumping perennial, reaching a maximum height of 1.5 feet, that is native to mountains of nw Yunnan and w Sichuan Provinces in western China.
The linear to lance-shaped leaves, up to 2.8 x 0.2 inches in size, are borne in whorls. The attractive foliage is mid-green.
The white ( fading to rosy-red ) flowers are borne in clusters hanging from the leaf axils during early summer.
They are followed by purpish-red berries during early autumn.
Hardy zones 5 to 8 in partial shade on moist, cool, fertile, humus-rich, well drained soil.

Polygomatum cyrtonema ( Chinese Solomons Seal )
A vigorous perennial, forming a clump up to 4 x 6 feet, that is native to much of southeastern China. Some records include: 10 years - width of 6 feet.
The narrowly-oblong to elliptical leaves are up to 7 x 3 inches in size. The mid-green foliage turns to glowing yellow during autumn.
The hanging white flowers are borne from the leaf axils during late spring. Over 100 flowers may be borne on a single stem.
They are followed by black berries, up to 0.3 inches wide, during late summer.
Hardy zones 5 to 9 in partial to full shade.

* photos taken @ Smithsonian Inst, Wash., DC on Aug 25 2014


Polygonatum falcatum
A vigorously spreading, very striking perennial, reaching a maximum height of 3 x 4 ( often closer to 2 ) feet. it is native to mountain forests in Korea and Japan. A 5 year clump can be up to 2 feet wide at the base.
The arching stems bear leaves, up to 12 x 2 ( rarely over 7 ) inches, are very glossy green.
The tubular, white flowers, up to 0.8 inches long, are borne from the leaf axils during late spring.
The very large fruits, up to 0.4 inches long, are blue.
Hardy zones 2 to 9 ( mulch during winter north of zone 6 ) in light shade on fertile, moist soil.

'Variegata'
Forms a long lived clump, up to 4 x 4 ( averaging around 3 ) feet with very attractive foliage that is green and edged in white. The foliage turns to stunning golden-yellow in late fall.
The hanging, creamy-white, tubular flowers are borne along the stems during late spring.
Hardy zones 2 to 8 in partial to full shade.
Cut - do not pull on the stems in late fall.

* photo taken on April 11 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum




* photos taken on May 8 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.



* photos taken on may 8 2010 @ McCrillis Gardens, Bethesda, MD




Polygonatum geminiflorum
A clumping to colony-forming perennial, reaching a maximum height of 20 inches, that is native to the high Himalayas of Kashmir, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The broadly-ovate leaves, up to 4 x 0.6 ( rarely over 2 ) inches in size, are borne in whorls. The foliage is glossy green. The leaves are borne from zig-zag stems.
The attractive, creamy-white, bell-shaped flowers, up to an inch in length, are borne during early to mid summer. They are followed by bluish berries.
Hardy zones 5 to 8 in partial to full shade.

Polygonatum hirtum
A fast growing perennial reaching a maximum height of 3 ( rarely over 2.5 ) feet, that is native from eastern Europe to Japan.
The broad leaves, up to 8 x 3 inches, are borne from arching stems.
The hanging, white flowers are followed by showy blue fruits.
Hardy zones 5 to 8

Polygonatum hookeri
A low, mat-forming, rosette forming perennial, reaching a maximum size of 4 inches x 3.3 foot. It forms vigorously expanding colonies. It is native to high mountains in the Himalayas and western China.
The linear to narrowly-oblong leaves are up to 1.8 x 0.3 inches in size. The nearly stemless leaves are mid-green.
The erect, lilac-pink flowers, up to 0.8 inches in length, are borne during late spring. The flowers are very large when compared with the size of the plant.
Hardy zones 5 to 9 in light shade on fertile, moist soil ranging from slightly acidic to alkaline.

Polygonatum humile ( Dwarf Solomons Seal )
A rapid but low growing Solomons Seal, that reaches a maximum size of 20 inches x 2 feet. It can spread to form a nice clump in just 2 years. Older plants may from broad patches. This dainty perennial can spread very fast and makes an excellent low groundcover for shady sites. Dwarf Solomons Seal is native to eastern Siberia; south to northern China to Japan.
The alternately arranged, broadly ovate leaves, up to 3.5 x 1.2 inches, are glossy deep green.
The abundant, creamy-white, bell-shaped flowers, up to 0.6 inches in length, are borne in clusters along the stems.
They are followed by blackish-blue berries up to 0.3 inches long.
Hardy zones 5 to 8. Dwarf Solomons Seal often goes dormant during mid to late summer if drought occurs.

* photo taken on may 8 2010 @ McCrillis Gardens, Bethesda, MD


* photo taken on May 15 2011 in Washington, D.C.

* photo taken @ Smithsonian Inst, Wash., DC on Aug 25 2014

* photos taken on Apr 23 2017 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD

* photos taken on May 27 2017 @ Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, Vienna, VA


'Streaker'
Foliage is irregularily striped yellow.

Polygonatum x hybridum ( Hybrid Solomon's Seal )
The hybrid between Polygonatum multiflorum & P. odoratum, forming a rapid growing clump reaching a maximum size of 5 x 4 feet ( rarely exceeding 4 feet ) with up to 100 stems of more.
The erect arching stems bear broadly lance-shaped leaves, up to 6 x 3 or rarely 8 x 4 inches in size, that are mid green.
The hanging, white, bell-shaped flowers, up to an inch in length, are borne in clusters of 2 or 3 during late spring to early summer.
Hardy zones 3 to 8 ( winter mulching is essential in zones 3 and 4 ).

* photo taken on Aug 3 in London, Ontario


'Flore Pleno'
Double flowers

'Striatum'
Vigorous with creamy-white striped leaves. Also known as 'Variegatum'

* photos taken on May 6 2010 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD



'Weihenstephan'
More vigorous sterile form, forming a stately clump up to 5 feet.

Polygonatum japonicum
A perennial native to Japan, that can form a clump up to 4 x 2 feet.
The leaves are up to 6 inches in length.
The flowers, up to 1.3 inches in length are borne in clusters of 2 and 3s.
Hardy zones 5 to 9.

'Spectabilis'
Taller growing, reaching up to 6 feet.

Polygonatum kingianum
A very large perennial, reaching a maximum size of 14 x 5 feet ( typically no taller than 5 feet ), that is native to Yunnan and Sichuan Provinces in China as well as northern Thailand, Burma and Vietnam.
The leathery, narrow lance-shaped leaves are up to 10 x 1.2 inches. The leaves are borne on whorls of 3 to 10.
The flowers, up to an inch in length, are yellow.
The rhizomes are up to an inch thick.
Hardy zones 5 to 8 ( winter mulch required in zones 5 and 6 )

'Orange Form'
Orange flowers

Polygonatum lasianthum ( Mountain Solomon's Seal )
A perennial, reaching a height of 2.3 x 2 + feet, that is native to mountain forests in Korea and much of Japan.
The lance-shaped to narrowly-elliptical leaves are up to 4.5 x 1.5 inches in size. The smooth foliage is luxuriant mid-green.
The very showy, hanging, creamy-white flowers, up to 0.8 inches long, appear late spring into early summer.
Hardy zones 4 to 8.

Polygonatum macranthum
Also called Polygonatum stenanthum. A perennial, reaching up to 5 ( rarely over 4 ) feet in height, that is native to mountain woods in the Korean Peninsula and Japan. It is endangered in the wild.
The lance-shaped to ovate leaves are up to 12 x 5 inches in size. The foliage is very glossy mid-green above, bluish-white beneath.
The hanging, white flowers, up to 1.3 inches long, appear late spring into early summer.
They are followed by black fruits up to 0.5 inches long.
Hardy zones 4 to 8 in partial to full shade on moist, well drained soil.

* photos taken on May 8 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.



Polygonatum macropodium
A perennial, forming a clump up to 3.3 x 3 feet in size, this northeast China native looks similar to Polygonatum biflorum in both foliage and flower.
The ovate leaves are up to 4 x 2 inches in size.
The white flowers appear during late spring.
Hardy zones 3 to 6.

* photo taken on July 17 2010 @ Morris Arboretum, Philly, PA


Polygonatum multiflorum ( Many-Flowered Solomon's Seal )
A perennial native to woodlands on limestone soils from the British Isles to western Russia and Siberia. Its stems, reaching up to 4 feet in height, are not angled.
It is fast growing and may even be invasive on some sites but makes an excellent woodland groundcover.
The deeply-veined leaves, up to 6 inches in length, are glaucous blue beneath.
The creamy-white flowers, up to 0.8 inches long, hang in clusters along the stems, borne during late spring.
Hardy zones 2 to 7 in partial to full shade on just about any soil.

* historic archive photo


Polygonatum odoratum ( Angular Solomon's Seal )
A very vigorous, spreading, rhizomatous perennial native to limestone soils in most of Eurasia ( the British Isles to Siberia; south to Spain to Caucasus to northern Iran to Japan ), that eventually forms a clump reaching a maximum size of 4 x 4+ feet, spreading by long creeping rhizomes.
The angled stems bear alternately arranged, broadly elliptic leaves up to 8 inches in length, that are green.
The fragrant, greenish-white, bell-shaped flowers, up to an inch in length, appear along the stems during mid to late spring.
They are followed by black berries.
Hardy zones 2 to 8

* photo taken on May 1 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.

* photos taken by Dr. Nick V. Kurzenko @ CalPhotos


'Fireworks'
Very vigorous, reaching up to 2 feet in height.
The very attractive foliage is heavily streaked and splashed creamy-white.
The red stems provide stunning contrast with the foliage.

* photos taken on May 8 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.


'Flore Pleno'
Double flowers

'Gilt Edge'
Foliage is margined in yellow.

subsp 'Maximiwiczii'
Reaches up to 3.3 feet in height with leaves, up to 8 x 3 inches in size,

* photos taken on May 8 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.



subsp. thunbergii 'Variegatum'
Similar to 'Variegatum' but even more vigorous.

'Variegatum'
Reaching up to 4 ( rarely over 2 ) feet in height with foliage that is streaked and margined in white.
The foliage turns entirely rich deep yellow during autumn.
Hardy zones 2 to 9

* photo taken on May 1 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum



* photo taken on annual Horticultural Society of Maryland Garden Tour

* photos taken on May 7 2014 @ London Town Gardens, Edgewater, MD

* photo taken @ Smithsonian Inst, Wash., DC on Aug 25 2014

* photo taken on July 11 2014 @ Smithsonian Inst. Wash., DC

* photos taken on June 9 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Oct 27 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Apr 8 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Apr 20 2017 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Apr 27 2017 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on May 16 2017 in Columbia, MD




* photo taken on May 27 2017 @ Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, Vienna, VA


'White Tiger'
Also called 'Byakko'. Introduced by famous plantsman Barry Yinger; it reaches up to 2.5 feet in height, with stunning mid-green foliage that is heavily splashed in white. It is surprisingly vigorous considering the amount of foliar variegation.

* photos taken on May 27 2017 @ Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, Vienna, VA


Polygonatum prattii
A dwarf Solomon's Seals, reaching a height of only 12 ( rarely over 8 ) inches, that is native to northwest Yunnan and western Sichuan provinces of China.
The elliptical to oblong leaves, up to 2.5 x 0.8 inches in size, are often borne in whorls of 3.
The greenish-white flowers borne on axilliary clusters are borne during late spring.
They are followed by very showy, translucent red fruits.

Polygonatum pubescens ( Downy Solomons Seal )
A perennial, reaching up to 3.5 feet in height, that is native to rich wooded slopes in eastern North America ( from northern Minnesota to Dryden, Ontario to Thunder Bay, Ontario to Sault Ste Marie to Mattawa, Ontario to Nova Scotia; south to northeast Iowa to northern Alabama to northern Georgia to western North Carolina to Maryland ).
The narrowly-oval leaves are up to 6 x 3 ( rarely over 4.8 x 2.3 ) inches in size.
The yellowish-green flowers are borne dangling from the stems during mid-sring to early summer.
They are followed by berries that are either blue or black.
Hardy zones 3 to 7 in partial to full shade.

* photo taken on May 1 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum


Polygonatum sibiricum
A vigorous spreading, very large perennial, reaching a maximum height of 13 feet, that is native to northeast Asia ( from Mongolia to eastern Siberia; south to northeast China ). It may even reach as much as 17 feet in height on occasions it may be found as a semi-climber.
The very narrow leaves, up to 6 inches in length, are borne in whorls of 6 to 10.
The flowers are borne in clusters of 3 to 20.
The attractive fruits are large and blue.
Hardy zones 3 to 8

Polygonatum verticillatum
An erect perennial reaching a maximum size of 8 x 3 ( rarely over 4 ) feet. It is native from eastern Europe to western Siberia; south to northern Turkey to the Himalayas.
The narrow leaves, up to 6 inches in length, are borne in whorls at intervals along the stems. The foliage is pinkish at first upon emerging during spring.
The deep pink flowers, up to 0.3 inches, are borne in clusters during mid-summer.
Hardy zones 2 to 8

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