Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Solomon's Seal

I have grown Solomon's Seal in three of the four homes that I have owned.  In one of my homes, I had a woodland garden, really a woodland because behind my house had once run a creek that over 100 years ago people came from the city of Chicago to their summer homes.  My house was never a summer home (built after the turn of the century) but my neighbor's home was.  People came by horseback, buggy and the early automobile.  So, you can see why my backyard was a small area of shade grass, farm lilacs, woodland plants on the side and all across the back.

I grew up in Chicago, so I had no idea what I was looking at.  I met the neighbor who lived in a summer home property (not a cottage but quite large) who would come over and rattle off every Latin name of all the plants in my yard.  I immediately went out and bought a wild plant identification book.  I found out several years later that this plant savvy neighbor of mine had a PhD. in Botany - didn't want to intimidate me!

I had a homemade woodland in the previous home to one I am in now.  With a large property I was able to plant a sprawling shade garden but never a "real" woodland like what I had.  Now, I am really limited,to that small long strip along the north side of my house, but I still have my one last woodland plant Polyonatum Variegatum (variegated Solomon's Seal).  The woodland Solomon's Seal was not variegated but plain green'

Solomon's Seal is a medicinal herb with diverse healing properties.  It can be used as a herbal tincture, salve, tea or supplement.  It is a beautiful arching plant with small white to pale yellowish green flowers, blooming April to midsummer.  It will take partial shade to sun if there is sufficient moisture.  It looks great with hosta, ferns and astilbe.

Childrens Book Review:  is there a monster over there?