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Polygonatum odoratum - (Mill.)Druce.

Common Name Solomon's Seal
Family Convallariaceae
USDA hardiness 4-8
Known Hazards The fruits are poisonous[9, 10, 19, 65].
Habitats Limestone woods and rocky places[17, 100].
Range Europe, including Britain, from Scandanavia south and east to Spain, Siberia, China, Himalayas.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (3 of 5)
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full shade Semi-shade
Polygonatum odoratum Solomon

Polygonatum odoratum Solomon


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Bloom Color: White. Main Bloom Time: Early spring, Mid spring. Form: Upright or erect.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Polygonatum odoratum is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.9 m (3ft) by 0.3 m (1ft in) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 4. It is in flower from May to July. 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 dry or moist soil.


P. anceps. P. officinale. P. vulgaris.


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

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves;  Root.
Edible Uses:

Young shoots - cooked. They can be used as an asparagus substitute[46, 55, 61]. Root - cooked[2, 55, 105, 179]. Rich in starch.

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.

Antiperiodic;  Antitussive;  Cardiotonic;  Demulcent;  Diuretic;  Hypoglycaemic;  Miscellany;  Ophthalmic;  
Resolvent;  Sedative;  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 antiperiodic, antitussive, cardiotonic, demulcent, diuretic, energizer, hypoglycaemic, ophthalmic, resolvent, sedative and tonic[7, 9, 21, 147, 174, 176, 178, 218]. It is used in the treatment of, dry throat, dry coughs and coronary heart disease[176]. The plant is only used in domestic medicine[9]. An infusion is used as a diuretic and stimulant to the metabolism, though no more than 3 cups per day should be taken and only over short periods[9]. It can also be applied externally as a poultice to treat bruises, small wounds etc[7, 9]. It has also been used to remove freckles[9, 21, 174, 176, 178]. The root is harvested in the autumn and can be dried for later use[9]. It should not be used internally except under expert supervision[254].

Other Uses


None known

Cultivation details

Landscape Uses:Container, Massing, Specimen, Woodland garden. 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 tolerate most other conditions[200]. Prefers a dryish soil[10, 19]. Does well in woodlands and copses[1, 19]. Hardy to about -25°c[187]. The rhizomes are long and creeping, the plant forming large colonies[187]. The flowers are sweetly scented[245]. 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]. A number of named forms have been selected for their ornamental value[187]. Special Features:Attractive foliage, Naturalizing, Suitable for cut flowers, Fragrant flowers.


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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 :

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Readers comment

Pia Ström Sjöberg   Thu Jul 19 2007

I have just returned from a vacation i South Korea. I bought some teabags with green tea in a 7-eleven in Seoul as a souvenir, and when opening one of the boxes I discovered that the cover of each bag had a photo of Polygonatum odoratum. The content in the bags seem to be dried and finely grinded root, brown and somewhat sticky when wet. After reading the information on this page I think I will save the teabags in the medicine box...

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Subject : Polygonatum odoratum  
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