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Polygonatum - Growing Guide

Growing Polygonatum multiflorum

Solomon’s seal

Solomon’s seal naturalised itself in banks along the drive at Burncoose many decades ago. Today small clumps emerge from beside and even amid azaleas and rhododendrons in March and April. Their arching hairless stems have ovate to lance shaped alternate leaves. When in flower the stems stand 2½-3ft tall and the green tipped white flowers hang below as the grass and other weeds start to grow below. We have to be careful not to cut the grass where these plants grow until the stems have died off and the black fruits have dropped.

P. multiflorum will grow in full sun or shade but it prefers a moist well drained soil. They can certainly be grown in a border but are perhaps best allowed to naturalise, like ours have, in a shadier corner. The roots are brittle so the rhizomes have to be divided with care as the new growth starts to emerge.

P. multiflorum ‘Variegatum’ has irregularly striped creamy-white leaves. Some are far more striped than others and some have hints of yellow as well as white while occasional others revert to being plain green. 

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