Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Solomon's Seal

This has to be one of my favourite perennials. Solomon's Seal (Polygonatum multiflorum) is tall, lush, tough and very elegant, and lasts a fabulously long time in a vase. It is also very easy to divide established clumps. Although it dies down completely in winter, it sprouts up and is at full height in early spring. Even the dying autumn foliage is attractive.

It looks particularly good with Hostas and other shade loving foliage plants
Great combo - Solomon's Seal with Viburnum opulus sterile - Snowball Tree
Exquisite individual flowers all the way down the stem
I started with several clumps from my mother-in-law, and 10 years later, I have it in large clumps in several areas of the garden. I divide it simply by brutally cutting my spade down the centre, just as the tips are beginning to show (it is a lot like asparagus in it's emergent stage). Then anything that has roots on will sprout happily in it's new location, barely blinking an eye.
It looks a lot like asparagus, the way it emerges
Roughly split clumps in a bucket, ready to be transplanted.
I wouldn't leave it much later than this to split the clumps. 
It prefers semi shade, and I suspect it would tolerate dampish soils. Also, it is gorgeous next to pathways, as it arches over towards the light, flanking the path for 8 months of the year. A really worthwhile plant.
It lasts for AGES in a vase