B. Rosie Lerner
Purdue Extension


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Variegated Solomon's Seal Named 2013 Perennial Plant of the Year

Solomon's Seal
Variegated Solomon's seal flowers (photo courtesy Steve Still, Perennial Plant Association)

Variegated Solomon's seal has been selected by members of the Perennial Plant Association as the 2013 Perennial Plant of the Year.

Known botanically as Polygonatum odoratum Variegatum, this classic hardy favorite is a well-behaved addition that adds seasonal interest with foliage and flowers. The bright green foliage edged with white reaches about 8 to 24 inches tall and spreads by rhizomes to form small colonies. In late spring pendulous, white, bell-shaped flowers appear in pairs underneath the arching stems and release a delicate fragrance. In fall the foliage turns a lovely yellow.

Variegated Solomon's seal foliage (photo courtesy Steve Still, Perennial Plant Association)

Variegated Solomon's seal thrives best in part shade but adapts well to full shade. Like many shade-loving perennials, it prefers moist, well-drained soil. But the plant is otherwise non-demanding, with few insect or disease problems. The shallow rhizomes are easily transplanted and divided.

PPA selects a different perennial plant each year to promote throughout the nursery and gardening industry. PPA members nominate plants based on several criteria, including low maintenance needs, adaptability to a wide range of climates, pest and disease resistance, wide availability, multiple seasons of interest and ease of propagation. A selection committee then narrows the field to three or four choices from which the members cast their votes.

Previous PPA Perennial of the Year winners:
2012 Brunnera macrophylla Jack Frost
2011 Amsonia hubrichtii
2010 Baptisia australis
2009 Hakonechloa macra Aureola
2008 Geranium Rozanne
2007 Nepeta Walker's Low
2006 Dianthus gratianopolitanus Feuerhexe
2005 Helleborus x hybridus
2004 Athyrium niponicum Pictum
2003 Leucanthemum Becky
2002 Phlox David
2001 Calamagrostis x acutiflora Karl Foerster
2000 Scabiosa columbaria Butterfly Blue
1999 Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii Goldsturm
1998 Echinacea purpurea Magnus
1997 Salvia Mainacht (May Night)
1996 Penstemon digitalis Husker Red
1995 Perovskia atriplicifolia
1994 Astilbe Sprite
1993 Veronica Sunny Border Blue
1992 Coreopsis verticillata Moonbeam
1991 Heuchera micrantha Palace Purple
1990 Phlox stolonifera



Writer: B. Rosie Lerner
Editor: Olivia Maddox