Polygonatum odoratum 'Variegatum' - sounds lovely, doesn't it? Don't judge a plant by its name. Variegated Solomon's Seal, is the 2013 Perennial Plant of the Year. The Perennial Plant Association features a stalwart classic each year, to remind gardeners of proven performers that might get overlooked in the flash of the new.
Despite the off-putting name, this is an elegant plant. Even Solomon's Seal doesn't really do it justice. It's one of those plants valued more for its shape and foliage, than its flowers, with shoots that gracefully arch and nod in the shade garden. Which is not to say the dangling white flowers aren't charming in their own right. They are followed by glossy black berries and this variety is even fragrant. If you're looking for a shade plant that's undemanding and deer resistant, yet eye-catching with 3 seasons of interest, you'll appreciate Solomon's Seal, blooming next spring, in your garden.
Photo: © Marie Iannotti