Dwarf Japanese Solomon's Seal
or, Dwarf Bellwort
"Solomon's-seal, in graceful play,
Swung where the straggling sunlight lay."
-William Davis Gallagher
Our Dwarf Japanese Solomon's Seal ( Polygonatum humile) is as yet too young to make much of an impression, but I already love it, & expect it to be just terribly wonderful when its rhizomes spread a bit & it has become a denser patch.
An established clump is surprisingly drought hardy, but does best with average watering in well-draining soil, being generally problem-free & easy to grown. Ours is near a rocky ledge under a cherry tree, where drainage is very sharp.
It is the smallest Solomon's Seal, growing six or eight inches tall, rarely so high as a foot tall. In every other respect it looks just like a big Solomon's Seal, with the same white flowers dangling from the leaf axils, daintily scaled down in size. These spring flowers are followed by green berries that ripen to shiny black by the end of summer.
It spreads quite slowly, from twisting underground rhizomes smaller around than a pinky finger. Over time it can colonize a little area & become quite a pleasing ground cover.
It is a woodland wildflower native to Hokkaido, Japan, where it is called Himeizui, the "Princess of Far Winding Roads" (i.e., of calm places). As a substory plant, it wants to be in moderate to deep shade.
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