Polygonatum Species, Solomon's Seal, Small Solomon's Seal, Smooth Solomon's seal

Polygonatum biflorum

Family: Asparagaceae
Genus: Polygonatum (po-lig-oh-NAY-tum) (Info)
Species: biflorum (by-FLOR-um) (Info)



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Sun Exposure:

Partial to Full Shade


Grown for foliage



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Seed Collecting:

Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Montevallo, Alabama

Morrilton, Arkansas

Los Altos, California

Old Lyme, Connecticut

Wilmington, Delaware

Cordele, Georgia

Marietta, Georgia

Woodstock, Georgia

Aurora, Illinois

Divernon, Illinois

Evanston, Illinois

Washington, Illinois

Wheaton, Illinois

Bloomington, Indiana

Ida Grove, Iowa

Lindsborg, Kansas

Olathe, Kansas

Overbrook, Kansas

Hebron, Kentucky

Melbourne, Kentucky

Mer Rouge, Louisiana

Finksburg, Maryland

Fort Washington, Maryland

Westminster, Maryland

Beverly, Massachusetts

Foxboro, Massachusetts

Hingham, Massachusetts

Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts

Mashpee, Massachusetts

Quincy, Massachusetts

Salem, Massachusetts

Swansea, Massachusetts

Wellfleet, Massachusetts

Bay City, Michigan

Grand Haven, Michigan

Royal Oak, Michigan

Bowlus, Minnesota

Isle, Minnesota

Minneapolis, Minnesota(2 reports)

Saint Paul, Minnesota

Brunswick, Missouri

Eunice, Missouri

Moberly, Missouri

Piedmont, Missouri

Warrensburg, Missouri

Lincoln, Nebraska

Madbury, New Hampshire

Cherry Hill, New Jersey

Frenchtown, New Jersey

Metuchen, New Jersey

Plainfield, New Jersey

Ballston Lake, New York

Blossvale, New York

Brooklyn, New York

Buffalo, New York(2 reports)

Fairport, New York

Ithaca, New York

New York City, New York

Ogdensburg, New York

Syracuse, New York

Wading River, New York

West Kill, New York

Boone, North Carolina

Raleigh, North Carolina

Coshocton, Ohio

Geneva, Ohio

Glouster, Ohio

Hilliard, Ohio

North Olmsted, Ohio

Stow, Ohio

Inola, Oklahoma

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Sulphur, Oklahoma

Tulsa, Oklahoma

Bellefonte, Pennsylvania

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

Hope Valley, Rhode Island

Conway, South Carolina

Rock Hill, South Carolina

Fairview, Tennessee

Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Newport, Tennessee

Alexandria, Virginia

Blacksburg, Virginia

Fort Valley, Virginia

Leesburg, Virginia

Lexington, Virginia

CHIMACUM, Washington

Seattle, Washington

Onalaska, Wisconsin

Prairie Du Sac, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Aug 12, 2016, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

This perennial does well where hostas do well. Like a hosta, it's a tough easy plant that will tolerate dry shade, but it performs best in soil that's moist but well drained.

All the stems arch the same way. The tall arching stems and the regularly alternating leaves give a clump an architectural quality that can help unify a woodland garden if the plant is repeated through the space.

This grows from a thick branched rhizome to form a slowly increasing clump. Its growth is in no way aggressive or weedlike, and the rhizomes stay within a few inches of the surface. I've grown this in many gardens and have never had any difficulty digging it out. Most easily propagated by division of the rhizome in autumn.

The giant form is thought to be a tetraplo... read more


On Aug 12, 2016, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

Back about 1993 someone let me dig out a few of this species from their woodsy yard with their curving stems and white rhizome underground stems. I planted them at my second house in northeast IL along a fence with three big Linden trees giving them part shade in good silt soil. They did well and did not spread out of their area. (It is reported that the white rhizomes were cooked and eaten like potatoes by Native Americans and that the young shoots are edible. The berries and older foliage are slightly toxic to humans) I sold my second house with its little yard in 1998 and 8 years later I saw that the new owner had taken out every single tree, shrub, and flower I ever planted there.


On Apr 27, 2015, SwedishDiva from Lindsborg, KS wrote:

Mine appeared spontaneously, next to the privacy fence enclosing my back yard, in the only shady spot I have. (I assume it was "planted" by a bird sitting on the fence.) I didn't even know what it was -- but searched the internet until I found it. I've watched it reappear every spring for 4-5 years. It doesn't appear to be spreading particularly rapidly, and I see a couple of lily-of-the-valley plants have appeared spontaneously to keep it company.


On Apr 23, 2013, rgladney from Mer Rouge, LA wrote:

Got a start of this plant from my sister in Pennsylvania, planted it in my shady, moist bed along with ferns and lily of the valley, in Mer Rouge, Louisiana and it is doing well! Add Louisiana to the list of places it will grow!!!!


On Apr 16, 2012, FlyPoison from Rock Hill, SC (Zone 7a) wrote:

Excellent native woodland plant that handles heat & drought in these parts very well. A great companion is the Great Solomon's Seal(Polygonatum commutatum). Birds love the fruit and they provide nice woodland interest from early spring to late fall.


On Jan 5, 2011, gardeningfun from Harpersfield, OH (Zone 5a) wrote:

Planted in heavy clay, tons of water - it thrives here! But it hasn't spread all over. It is a nice size clump, but isn't taking over at all. So I recommend planting it in heavy clay if you don't want it to spread. Starts to come up in April and lasts for a long time! I love it!


On May 16, 2010, jleigh from Ballston Lake, NY (Zone 5a) wrote:

I've been looking for this plant for a while... recently while on a hike in the Adirondacks I saw a large patch growing (in the wild). It's good to know that when/if I find some available for trade/purchase it will do well in my woodland garden.


On Apr 30, 2010, Gundy03130 from Saint Paul, MN wrote:

Brooklyn Park/St. Paul,MN

I received a small clump of this plant from a friend and put them in my parent's yard in Brooklyn Park, MN. I put it in full sun/sandy soil, not knowing at the time what the name of the plant was. This was a late Spring transfer. The first year I didn't think it was going to make it. The following year it came back and spread. Every year it spreads and I have to give some away otherwise it takes over. I brought some to my house last year (St. Paul), put it in shade and it's taken off. Need to split again!


On Jun 14, 2009, gailteachr from Cabot, AR wrote:

A friend gave me a start of Soloman's Seal this spring. I was very excited to see the beginnings of blooms. Yesterday we had a terrible storm with hail and high winds. Two stalks were broken down. I thought about sticking them into the ground just to see if they would root, but decided to make a clean cut and put them in a vase of water. Am I wasting my time? I really hated to toss them.


On May 27, 2009, roser207 from Bellefonte, PA (Zone 5b) wrote:

I love this plant! Easy to grow in shade. I have never found it to be invasive in my zone. And no one mentioned the fragrance in the early morning...Wonderful!


On May 1, 2009, hart from Shenandoah Valley, VA wrote:

Wow, one woman's trash is another woman's treasure. I love this plant. The variegated leaves are beautiful and the delicate flowers are charming.

It certainly hasn't been invasive for me at all. I have a still very small clump from a plant that was planted three years ago. It's in shade but in a fairly dry spot which I'm sure slows down spreading some.


On May 17, 2008, allgaul from Cherry Hill, NJ wrote:

I was given a few clumps of this plant about 5 years or so ago. It was VERY slow to take off in my NJ shade areas. Just last year it make a nice clump and started to spread. I divided the clump into 5 or 6 individual plants and replanted throughout my shady area. I am hoping that each will start to make a clump, it is one of my favorite early spring perennials! It is planted with hosta, dwarf astilbe, sweet woodruff and ferns. I didn't know the name of it until I came here today to see if I could find it somehow! Yay!


On May 16, 2008, lemurianne from Ida Grove, IA (Zone 5a) wrote:

I hate this plant! It is EVERYWHERE in my yard -- sun, shade, nestled among tree roots, under my sidewalk(!), everywhere! Highly invasive and not especially attractive, I'd definitely suggest caution to anyone thinking about planting this. At the back or in the middle of perennial beds it isn't so bad, but it won't stay there! Everywhere that I've dug to plant this Spring has been infested with polygonatum biflorum's huge rhizomes. I'd pay money to be rid of it.


On May 23, 2005, CatskillKarma from West Kill, NY wrote:

Solomon's seal grow's wild everywhere here in the Catskills. The biflorum part of the species name is because the flowers of true Solomon's Seal grow in pairs along the leaf axils. I have some of the giant cultivar (3-4 ft) variety growing in a shady seating area in my yard as a memorial to my late pet Rhodesian Ridgeback Solomon. It is in bloom now, at the same time as some bleeding heart, which complements it well. Grows well with ferns and hostas, too.The area is shaded by swamp maples.


On Nov 1, 2004, DiOhio from Corning, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

We have a lot of this plant growing wild in our woods.


On Oct 31, 2004, pokerboy from Canberra,
Australia (Zone 8b) wrote:

This plant loves the shade. pokerboy.


On Oct 31, 2004, lmelling from Ithaca, NY (Zone 5b) wrote:

A neighbor gave me a couple starts several years ago. I planted them in a moist shady spot and they've taken off like they've always been there. No special treatment, no real care. And it's beautiful in flower, foliage and even fall color!


On Aug 8, 2003, Sysan wrote:

Hi - responding from St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada - Solomon's Seal transplanted well and is spreading like a much-desired weed in our shady, moist garden. Just finished blooming in fact. Can't wait to see what happens with it next season!


On Aug 31, 2002, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Great plant for shade, and not hard to get a clump started.


On May 2, 2001, kat7 from Bloomingdale, NJ (Zone 6a) wrote:

regal shade plant with slender arching stems that bear beautiful ovate-veined light green foliage. Small white tubular flowers dangle gracefully all along the stems in late spring and early summer.