Sometimes the boss sends an email that you choose to ignore. And then there are the times that the boss sends an email and it’s impossible to ignore—because there’s a photo of this plant attached. Red stem Solomon’s seal has long been treasured by shade gardeners in England. It is rarer to see in nurseries in North America, which is a darn shame given just how spectacular it is. This plant sports the same graceful arching stems of the Solomon’s seal you know and love, and it has the same fragrant, pendulous white bell flowers too. Where it differs is in the dark red hue of the stems. Whereas those naturally occurring bare legs (due to the vaselike habit) could have been seen as a drawback to the plant in the past, here they are the main event. This is most certainly something exciting and new from a plant that never disappoints.
Red stem Solomon’s seal
Polygonatum odoratum var. pluriflorum ‘Jinguji’
Size: 20 inches tall and 24 inches wide
Conditions: Partial to full shade; moist, well-drained soil
Native range: Japan
Dancing Oaks Nursery, Monmouth, OR 503-838-6058; dancingoaks.com