Glabrous or pubescent herbs, with thick, horizontal jointed and scarred rootstocks, simple arching or erect stems, scaly below, leafy above, the leaves ovate or lanceolate, sessile and alternate in our species (opposite or verticillate in some exotic ones). Flowers greenish or pinkish, axillary, drooping, peduncled, solitary or 2-10 in an umbel, the pedicels jointed at the base of the flower. Perianth tubular or oblong-cylindric or somewhat expanded above the base, 6-lobed, the short lobes not spreading. Stamens 6, included; filaments adnate to the perianth for half their length or more; anthers sagittate, introrse. Ovary 3-celled; ovules 2-6 in each cavity; style slender; stigmas small, capitate or slightly 3-lotredr Berry globular, pulpy, dark blue or nearly black, with a bloom, in our species. [Genus dedicated to Salomon.]

About 20 species, natives of the north temperate zone. Type species: Convallaria polygonatuni L.

Leaves pubescent beneath; filaments filiform, roughened.


P. bifiorum.

Plant glabrous throughout; filaments smooth, somewhat flattened.


P. commutatum.

1. Polygonatum Biflorum (Walt.) Ell. Hairy Solomon's Seal

Fig. 1295

Convallaria biflora Walt. Fl. Car. 122. 1788.

Polygonatum biflorum Ell. Bot. S. C. & Ga. 1: 393- 1817-

Salomonia biflora Farwell, Rep. Com. Parks Detroit 11: 53. 1900.

Stem slender, glabrous, often zigzag above, 8-30 high. Leaves lanceolate, oval to ovate, 2r-4' long, 1/2'-z' wide, acute or acuminate at the apex, narrowed or sometimes obtuse at the base, pubescent especially on the veins and pale beneath, glabrous above, the upper commonly narrower than the lower; peduncles 1-4-rlowered (often 2-flowered), glabrous; perianth 4"-6" long, about 11 /2" thick, filaments filiform, adnate to the perianth for about three-fourths its length, papillose-roughened; berry 3"-4" in diameter.

In woods and thickets, New Brunswick to Ontario and Michigan, south to Florida, West Virginia and Tennessee. Recorded from Kansas and Texas. Sealwort. Dwarf Solomon's-seal. Conquer-john. April-July.

1 Polygonatum Biflorum Walt Ell Hairy Solomon s Se 12951 Polygonatum Biflorum Walt Ell Hairy Solomon s Se 1296

2. Polygonatum Commutatum (R. &S.) Dietr. Smooth Solomon's Seal

Fig. 1296

Convallaria commutata R. & S. Syst. 7: 1671.

1830. Polygonatum commutatum Dietr.; Otto & Dietr.

Gartenz. 3: 223. 1835. Polygonatum giganteum Dietr.; Otto & Dietr.

Gartenz. 3: 222. 1835. Salomonia commutata Britton, Man. 273. 1901.

Glabrous throughout, stem stout or slender, 1°-8° high. Leaves lanceolate, oval or ovate, 1 1/2'-6' long, 3'-4' wide, rather darker green above than beneath, acute, acuminate or blunt at the apex, narrowed, rounded or somewhat clasping at the base, the upper often narrower than the lower; peduncles 1-8-flowered, glabrous; perianth 6"-10" long, 1 1/2"-2" thick; filaments somewhat flattened, smooth, adnate to the perianth for half its length or more; berry 4"-6" in diameter.

In moist woods and along streams, rarely in dry soil, Rhode Island to New Hampshire, Ontario and Manitoba, south to Georgia, Louisiana,Utah, New Mexico and Arizona. Sealwort. Giant Solomon's-seal. May-July.