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Solomon seal plant

Solomon seal plant

Solomon seal plant

The Solomon seal plant is a very unique and interesting plant. The unique characteristics of this plant are the leaves. The leaves of this plant have a very thin spot on it.The word ‘polygonatum’ is derived from the ancient Greek for ‘many knees’, inspired by the jointed rhizomes from which the plants grow. The common name Solomon’s seal has many suggested origins – one theory is that it is inspired by the mark where the stem emerges from the rhizome, which looks like two interlocked triangles, the symbol of the biblical Solomon’s seal grows best in shadier areas of the garden and in woodland settings, where, if undisturbed, it will naturalise and form clumps. It looks good with other shade lovers such as ferns, hostas, hellebores, corydalis, bleeding heart and lily of the valley, to which it is closely related. It’s a much-loved plant for flower arranging. Most parts of the plants (especially the berries) are poisonous and should not be consumed.

Plant

The shoots that emerge from the rhizomes are easily damaged if trodden on, so plant in a place that can remain undisturbed. If the plant is happy, it will spread, but it is not invasive.The grey, caterpillar-like larvae of Solomon’s seal sawfly (Phymatocera aterrima) can shred the leaves of Solomon’s seal in June and July, usually after the plant has flowered. While the problem can be severe and can look unattractive, it does not kill the plant. Be vigilant for signs of the larvae in late spring, and pick any off that you see. Encourage natural predators, such as birds, into your garden. It is not advisable to use pesticides, as these will also kill beneficial insects. As a garden designer, I am often asked to recommend plants that are foolproof, black-thumb proof, and low-maintenance. As well as beautiful, of course! A constructive conversation about real-life plant care usually follows. But if the garden under discussion happens to enjoy shade (often seen as a curse), there is a perennial that comes to the rescue, every time: Solomon’s seal checks all those boxes. Polygonatum is a shining shade garden star.

The following spring a larger stem is produced from the rhizome. Only a single stem is produced annually from each rhizome section, but the rhizomes branch freely, so each plant will have multiple stems. The plants spread at a modest pace to form colonies of plants. The thick, fleshy, white, irregularly-shaped rhizomes bear rounded scars where previous year’s stems arose – and supposedly it is the resemblance of these scars to the two inverted triangles that were the symbol or seal of King Solomon that gave rise to the common name. These rhizomes can grow quite large and become woody.Rhizomes can be dug in the spring, just as the new growth emerges from the ground, or in fall, but plants typically don’t require division to remain vigorous. Entire clumps can be transplanted or larger rhizomes can be broken or cut into pieces to create multiple plants. Place the rhizomes horizontally a few inches deep and keep evenly moist until established. (Source: hort.extension.wisc.edu)

 

 

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