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Common Name: Whorled Solomon's Seal
Polygonatum verticillatum is a perennial plant that can grow up to 1.20 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food.
Although no reports of toxicity have been seen for this species, some members of this genus have poisonous fruits and seeds.
Europe, including Britain, from Scandanavia south and east to Spain, W. Asia, Himalayas.
Margins of woods, clearings and shady rocky places, usually on acid soils[
Prefers a fertile humus rich moisture retentive well-drained soil in cool shade or semi-shade[
]. Plants are intolerant of heat and drought but tolerate most other conditions[
Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer or rabbits[
The young shoots are very attractive to slugs[
Hybridizes with other members of this genus[
Tender leaves and young shoots - cooked as a vegetable[
]. They can be used as an asparagus substitute.
Root - cooked[
]. Rich in starch.
Polygonatum verticillatum is one of a group of eight plants, known collectively as 'Astavarga' in India, whose underground parts are seen in Ayurveda as general tonics that can strengthen the vital force in the body, improve cell regeneration capacity and boost the immune system. They can each be used on their own, and they are also used in the preparation of different types of rejuvenating tonics in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. One of the most important of these is 'Chyavanprash', a polyherbal formulation comprising more than 50 different plant ingredients, which is widely used in India as a general tonic, energy booster, immune system strengthener and aphrodisiac[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in early autumn in a shady part of a cold greenhouse[
]. Sow stored seed as early in the year as possible. Germination can be slow, they may not come true to type[
] and it takes a few years for them to reach a good size. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a shady position in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
Division in early spring or early autumn. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is better to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame until they are well established before planting them out in late spring or early summer.