Have You Tried Variegated Solomon’s Seal?

variegated solomon's seal

It’s architectural look makes variegated Solomon’s seal a great addition to the shade garden.

Each year, the Perennial Plant Association names its plant of the year, and this year’s plant is a beautiful foliage plant for shade, Variegated Solomon’s Seal (Polygonatum odoratum ‘Variegatum’). It’s a lovely plant with 1- to 2-foot-long arching stems, bright green leaves and an architectural look. the Northern Gardener horticultural editor, Debbie Lonnee, says, “This is a plant truly worthy of a spot in your shade garden and one on the list of best perennials.”

Northern Gardener editor Mary Schier also writes a garden column for the St. Cloud Times, and last week extolled the virtues of variegated Solomon’s seal. Here’s what she says:

… the plant puts out dainty white flowers along its stem, similar to the arrangement of bleeding heart flowers. The bell-shaped blooms have a light, sweet fragrance. In fall, the leaves turn yellow, and the plant may form bluish berries.

Variegated Solomon’s seal is hardy to USDA Zone 3, so it’s a great choice for cold-climate gardeners. It grows best in moist soil, though it does well under trees, even where there may be some competition from roots.

It’s a wonderful shade alternative to hosta, too.  What are your favorite shade plants?