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Polygonatum - (Walter.)Elliott.

Common Name Small Solomon's Seal
Family Convallariaceae
USDA hardiness 3-7
Known Hazards The fruit and seed are possibly poisonous[65].
Habitats Dry to moist sandy, loamy or rocky deciduous woods and thickets, usually in upland areas[43].
Range N. America - New Brunswick to Michigan, south to Tennessee and Florida
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Full shade Semi-shade
Polygonatum Small Solomon


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Polygonatum Small Solomon
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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Polygonatum is a PERENNIAL growing to 1 m (3ft 3in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 3. It is in flower in May. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Bees. The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) or semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers moist soil.

Synonyms

Habitats

Edible Uses

Young shoots - raw or cooked[159, 177]. An excellent vegetable when boiled and used as an asparagus substitute[183]. Root - cooked[61]. The flavour is somewhat bitter, to counteract this the root is sliced crosswise, cooked in alkaline water and the water changed during the cooking process[183]. When steamed and sun-dried nine times the root is delicious[179]. The roots are rich in starch, this can be extracted by beating or grinding the dried root, the starch can then be used to make bread or can be mixed in other foods such as soups[159, 183, 257].

Medicinal Uses

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A tea made from the roots is laxative[222]. It has been used in the treatment of indigestion, profuse menstruation, lung ailments, general debility etc[222]. It is a folk remedy for piles, rheumatism and skin irritations[222]. A poultice or a decoction of the fresh roots is applied to cuts, bruises, sores etc[222, 257].

Other Uses

The root has been burnt as an incense[257]. It is said that when the root is burnt in the bedroom just before going to sleep, the person would sleep soundly and awaken refreshed, rested and feeling young[257].

Cultivation details

Prefers a fertile humus rich moisture-retentive well-drained soil in cool shade or semi-shade[200]. Plants are intolerant of heat and drought but they tolerate most other conditions[200]. A very ornamental plant, it grows well in woodland and copses[1, 42]. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer or rabbits[233]. The young shoots are very attractive to slugs[K]. Hybridizes with other members of this genus[200].

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Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in early autumn in a shady part of a cold greenhouse[200]. Sow stored seed as early in the year as possible. Germination can be slow, they may not come true to type[200] and it takes a few years for them to reach a good size. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a shady position in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division in March or October. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is better to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame until they are well established before planting them out in late spring or early summer.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants

 

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Author

(Walter.)Elliott.

Botanical References

43200270

Links / References

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Subject : Polygonatum  
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