Polygonatum biflorum 

Smooth Solomon’s Seal

Great Soloman's Seal

P.b. commutatum 

Polygonatum pubescens 

Hairy Solomon’s Seal

Names and Myths

Polygonatum is from the Greek and means many knees, a reference to the yearly joints on the roots.

biflorum two flowered commutatum Changes

pubescens hairy

Two versions of the origin of the common name exist, one that the yearly growth marks on the root resemble to seal of Solomon, and a second that the roots are excellent for sealing fresh wounds.1 

Natural history / Folklore

  The flowers hang under the leaf stalk opening down limiting pollination to the higher bees. By late spring the flowers have been replaced by blue berries. The plant spreads by roots and seeds and can establish a good sized clump. The subspecies P.b. commutatum can reach five or more feet in height, and has from 2 to 8 flowers in each cluster.6,17 Native Americans used crushed roots to remove the discoloration caused by bruise. They also ate both the roots and shoots. Modern research shows that the plant contains allantoin which is useful in treating external wounds and skin ulcers.23,29

Species List Family Group
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P. biflorum April – June Six parted flowers normally in pairs below the leaves. Leaves glabrous  below, to 2m in height. Dry to moist woods

P. pubescens April – May Leaves pubescent on the veins. Dry to moist woods