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Polygonatum multiflorum - (L.)All.

Common Name Solomon's Seal, Eurasian Solomon's seal
Family Convallariaceae
USDA hardiness 4-8
Known Hazards Large quantities of the fruits are poisonous[10, 19, 65]. It has laxative properties and can increase the laxative effects of aloe, rhamnus, senna & yellow dock. May lead to gastrointestinal irritation with prolonged use. Overdose leads to nausea, diarrhoea, gastric complaints [301].
Habitats Woodland, usually on limestone[187].
Range Europe, including Britain, from Scandanavia south and east to Spain, and temperate Asia to Japan.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (3 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full shade Semi-shade
Polygonatum multiflorum Solomon


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Polygonatum multiflorum Solomon
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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Polygonatum multiflorum is a PERENNIAL growing to 1.2 m (4ft) by 0.3 m (1ft in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 4. It is in flower in June, and the seeds ripen in October. 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, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) or semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

Synonyms

Convallaria ambigua. Convallaria bracteata. Convallaria broteroi. Polygonatum salamonis.

Habitats

Woodland Garden Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; not Deep Shade; Ground Cover;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves;  Root.
Edible Uses:

Young shoots - cooked. Boiled and used as an asparagus substitute, they make an excellent vegetable[2, 4, 115] and are widely used in Turkey[244]. Root - cooked[177, 179]. Rich in starch[115]. The root should be macerated for some time in water in order to remove bitter substances[4]. Normally only used in times of famine, the root was powdered and then made into a bread by the North American Indians[244].

Medicinal Uses



Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Astringent;  Demulcent;  Emetic;  Poultice;  Tonic.

Solomon's seal has been used for thousands of years in herbal medicine. It is used mainly in the form of a poultice and is believed to prevent excessive bruising and to stimulate tissue repair[254]. The root is astringent, demulcent, emetic and tonic[4, 21, 61, 240]. An infusion is healing and restorative, it is good in the treatment of stomach inflammations, chronic dysentery etc[4]. It is used with other herbs in the treatment of pulmonary problems, including tuberculosis, and women's complaints[4, 254]. The powdered roots make an excellent poultice for bruises, piles, inflammation etc[4]. The root is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use[4]. The plant should not be used internally except under professional supervision[254]. A distilled water made from the whole plant has been used as a skin tonic and is an ingredient of expensive cosmetics[244]. The dried powdered roots and flowers have been used as a snuff to promote sneezing and thus clear the bronchial passages[244].

Other Uses

Cosmetic.

Plants can be grown for ground cover when spaced about 30cm apart each way[208]. A distilled water made from the whole plant is used as a cosmetic to improve the complexion[244].

Cultivation details

Prefers a fertile humus rich moisture retentive well-drained soil in cool shade or semi-shade[200]. Succeeds in dry shade if the soil is rich in humus[190]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Plants are intolerant of heat and drought but tolerate most other conditions[200]. Another report suggests that they tolerate drought so long as the soil is rich in humus[190]. A very ornamental plant[1], growing well on the woodland edge[24]. There are some named forms[188]. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer or rabbits[233]. The young shoots of most members of this genus 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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Expert comment

Author

(L.)All.

Botanical References

17200

Links / References

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