Plant DetailShow Menu

Polygonatum odoratum 'Variegatum'

Previously known as:

  • Convallaria odorata
  • Polygonatum odoratum var. thunbergii 'Variegatum'
  • Polygonatum sigillum
Description

Fragrant Solomon's Seal is a herbaceous perennial of the asparagus family, and it is a native of China, Europe, Korea, Japan, Manchuria, Mongolia, Morocco, Russia, Siberia, and Ukraine. The genus name is Greek in origin. "Poly" means "many," and "gonu" means knee joint referring to jointed plant rhizomes. "Odoratus" is Latin for "sweet smelling" and refers to the fragrance of its flowers. The name Solomon's Seal is believed to refer to the circular seals on the rhizomes or possibly in reference to its reported wound healing properties. In some species, the seal appears to be two overlapped triangles which were symbols or seals used by King Solomon, ruler of Israel, who reigned from 970 BC to 931 BC.

Variegatum is a popular cultivar that has bright green foliage with white edges, maroon tinged stems, and dangling white bell-shaped flowers. This shade-loving plant typically blooms from April to June and attracts bees and butterflies. The berries are attractive to birds.  The plant is deer and rabbit resistant and tolerates heavy shade. It prefers moist humus-rich well-drained soil in partial to full shade and is somewhat drought tolerant once established. Tolerates the soil being occasionally wet or dry. It does best in cool summer climates. Division is the easiest way to propagate this plant and rhizomes may be dug in the spring or fall. Plant them horizontally just a few inches below the soil and kept moist until they are established.  

Solomon's Seal is typically used as a shade-loving foliage plant and combines well with Hostas, Astilbes, and Bleeding Hearts. Its variegated leaves and small white bell-shaped flowers brighten and add variety to a shade garden. it can be slow to establish in the garden but is long-lived and low maintenance.

Problems: Slugs, snails, weevils, and whiteflies can be a problem.

See this plant in the following landscapes:
Round Garden Bed Garden Treasures Storage Cottage Back of House Planting
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#heavy shade#white flowers#shade garden#variegated leaves#groundcover#under tree planting#border middle#pollinators#birds#woodlands
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#heavy shade#white flowers#shade garden#variegated leaves#groundcover#under tree planting#border middle#pollinators#birds#woodlands
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Polygonatum
    Species:
    odoratum
    Family:
    Asparagaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Used in herbal medicine
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eurasia
    Wildlife Value:
    Bees and Butterflies obtain nectar from the flowers as well as provide pollination. Birds are attracted to the berries.
    Edibility:
    Young shoots may be boiled and served like asparagus; however, the stems and leaves (as well as berries) do have some poisonous symptoms.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 3 ft. 0 in. - 4 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 9 in. - 1 ft. 6 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Perennial
    Habit/Form:
    Arching
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Occasionally Wet
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4b, 4a, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Black
    Blue
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    In the fall, blue black berries appear which are 1/4 inch in diameter and hang downward from the leaf axils.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Solitary
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Bell
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    The flower is about 7/8 inches long, white, bell-shaped, and occurs either solitary or in pairs. The sweetly fragrant flowers droop from the leaf axils along or below the arching stem April-June
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Variegated
    White
    Leaf Feel:
    Smooth
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Oblong
    Obovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The leaves are bright green with white edges. Each stem has 8-17 leaves which are alternate, upright, and elliptic to ovate/ oblong in shape. Each leaf measures 4 inches long. The fall color is yellow-brown.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Angular
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Description:
    Each arching angular stem grows singularly from a rhizome and is 18-24 inches long. They are burgundy red or dark maroon in color.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Walkways
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Cottage Garden
    English Garden
    Rain Garden
    Shade Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Small groups
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Heavy Shade
    Rabbits
    Problems:
    Problem for Dogs