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Marie Iannotti

Coming Soon - Scented Solomon's Seal

By April 17, 2013

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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


May 11, 2009 at 7:24 am
(1) francisco says:

The Solomon’s Seal in my shade garden are beautiful this year! I also have some of the variegated and both are doing well. Some folks around here have heard of Solomon’s Seal, but few have actually seen it. Especially in bloom!

November 14, 2012 at 1:12 pm
(2) scotty says:

I love these plants.Great for my shady spots and as it says, they are virtually care free.Of course we expect that from a native plant.

I have to admit that I get most of mine from the woods but I will purchase the cultivar in question.

November 14, 2012 at 4:34 pm
(3) Cole says:

A few years back a Master Gardener pointed out this plant to us when we were at a plant sale. We reluctantly bought the bedraggled, floppy plant and plunked it in a shady spot where we hoped it would go unnoticed. Of course, he was right, and it grew into a beautiful plant. We have now moved it to a more prominent location among our hostas and we get lots of questions and compliments about it. It’s a lovely shade plant, offering contrasting texture and height among hosta beds. I’m so greatful to that MG.

November 15, 2012 at 7:43 am
(4) gardening says:

Cole, you get big points, in my book, for taking that leap of faith. MG plant sales are great places to pick up a few treasures, but there can also be plants that were dug up that morning and hanging on for dear life.

It’s funny how many great plants get overlooked because they aren’t impressive when we do most of our nursery shopping in the spring. I have to force myself to look away from the all the great things in bloom and think about the long term.

April 17, 2013 at 6:15 pm
(5) Doug Cornett says:

Plus you get the added bonus of them spreading slowly every year into a nice clump of beautiful plants! One of my shade favorites.

April 18, 2013 at 1:13 pm
(6) Marie Iannotti says:

They do spread nicely. The first couple of years you think they’re not going to move and then they start to naturalize. Mine have never been aggressive.

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