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Angular Solomon's Seal

Polygonatum odoratum

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Asparagaceae (Asparagus)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
90 centimetres tall
Gardens, mountains, riversides, rocky places, waterside, woodland.

White, 6 petals
White bell-shaped, tubular flowers. Not waisted, unlike the Common Solomon's Seal flower which is waisted. Flowers appear in clusters of ones and twos.
A red or black berry.
The leaves are light green, oval, pointed and have prominent parallel veins. The Angular Solomon's Seal is a smaller plant than the Common Solomon's Seal, and is by far much less common. The leaves are arranged alternately along the stems. The stems are distinctly angled, hence the name of this flower. This plant grows among the cracks of Limestone Pavements and in woods with limestone.
The flowers are fragrant. Common Solomon's Seal flowers are not fragrant.
Other Names:
Angled Solomon's Seal, Fragrant Solomon's Seal, Scented Solomon's Seal.
Frequency (UK):
Rarely seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Polygonatum odoratum, also known as Fragrant Solomon's seal, is a perennial herb in the family Asparagaceae. It is native to Asia, Europe and North America, and can be found in woodlands, along streams and in shaded areas. The plant grows to a height of 60-90 cm with arching stems that bear alternate, lance-shaped leaves. The flowers are small, greenish-white and hang in drooping clusters along the stem, followed by blue-black berries. The rootstock of the plant is sometimes used for medicinal purposes. The plant is also cultivated as an ornamental for its attractive foliage and fragrant flowers. The rhizomes of the plant are also used in traditional Chinese medicine. The plant is also known for its ornamental value as it forms a dense ground cover, and it's flowers are small, but fragrant and long lasting, making it a popular choice for borders, gardens, and naturalistic landscapes.


Angular Solomon's Seal, or Polygonatum odoratum, is a beautiful and delicate perennial plant that belongs to the family Asparagaceae. It is commonly found in Europe, Asia, and North America, where it grows in shaded woodland areas, moist meadows, and along stream banks. The plant has a long history of medicinal and culinary use and is highly prized for its unique appearance and distinct fragrance.

One of the most striking features of Angular Solomon's Seal is its angular stems, which grow to a height of up to 90cm and are covered with small, greenish-white, bell-shaped flowers that bloom in early summer. The plant's leaves are elongated and arranged in a distinct, alternate pattern, with each leaf having a broad base that tapers to a pointed tip. The leaves are dark green in color and have a smooth, glossy texture.

The plant's common name, Solomon's Seal, is derived from the shape of its root system, which features a series of interconnected, oval-shaped rhizomes that resemble the ancient seal of King Solomon. These rhizomes are highly valued for their medicinal properties and have been used for centuries to treat a wide range of ailments, including digestive disorders, respiratory conditions, and joint pain.

Angular Solomon's Seal is also highly prized in culinary circles, where its tender shoots and young leaves are used in a variety of dishes, including soups, salads, and stir-fries. The plant's distinctive fragrance is also highly prized, and it is often used to create fragrant sachets and potpourri.

If you are interested in growing Angular Solomon's Seal in your garden, it is important to choose a shaded area with well-drained soil. The plant prefers moist, humus-rich soil and should be watered regularly, especially during hot, dry periods. It is also important to provide the plant with plenty of space to spread, as its root system can grow quite large over time.

Angular Solomon's Seal is a beautiful and versatile plant that has been valued for its medicinal and culinary properties for centuries. Whether you are interested in growing the plant for its beauty, its fragrance, or its medicinal properties, it is a plant that is sure to delight and inspire.

In addition to its use in medicine and cuisine, Angular Solomon's Seal has also been used in traditional folk remedies for a variety of ailments. The plant is said to have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, and has been used to treat conditions such as arthritis, rheumatism, and tendonitis. It is also believed to have diuretic properties and has been used to treat urinary tract infections and kidney stones.

In traditional Chinese medicine, Polygonatum odoratum is known as "yu zhu" and is believed to have a cooling effect on the body. It is often used to treat dry cough, dry mouth, and other symptoms of dehydration. The root is also believed to have a nourishing effect on the lungs, and is often used to treat respiratory conditions such as asthma and bronchitis.

Aside from its medicinal properties, Polygonatum odoratum is also a popular ornamental plant, especially in shaded gardens. Its delicate flowers and unique shape make it a popular choice for border plantings, woodland gardens, and as a groundcover. It can also be used in cut flower arrangements and has a long vase life.

In terms of cultivation, Polygonatum odoratum is generally a hardy and low-maintenance plant. It prefers shaded or partially shaded locations, and is tolerant of a wide range of soil types. It is generally resistant to pests and diseases, although it can be susceptible to fungal infections in wet conditions. It is also relatively drought-tolerant once established, although it will benefit from regular watering during dry spells.

Polygonatum odoratum, or Angular Solomon's Seal, is a versatile and valuable plant that has been prized for centuries for its medicinal, culinary, and ornamental properties. Whether you are interested in using it for its health benefits, its unique appearance, or its delicious flavor, it is a plant that is sure to bring beauty and joy to any garden or kitchen.

In some cultures, Polygonatum odoratum has been associated with folklore and legends. For example, in Japanese mythology, the plant is said to have the power to ward off evil spirits and bring good luck. It is also believed to have a soothing effect on the mind and spirit, and is often used in traditional Japanese tea ceremonies.

In European folklore, Polygonatum odoratum has been associated with fairies and woodland spirits. It is said that fairies are drawn to the plant's delicate flowers and sweet fragrance, and that it can be used to attract them to the garden. The plant is also associated with love and fertility, and is said to have been used in love potions and other magical spells.

Another interesting aspect of Polygonatum odoratum is its adaptability. The plant has been known to thrive in a variety of growing conditions, including both dry and wet soil, as well as in full sun or partial shade. This adaptability has made it a popular choice for gardeners and landscapers, as it can be used to fill a variety of niches in the garden.

In terms of conservation, Polygonatum odoratum is considered a vulnerable species in some regions, due to habitat loss and over-harvesting of its rhizomes for medicinal use. In response, a number of conservation efforts have been put in place to protect the plant and its habitat, including efforts to encourage sustainable harvesting practices and the establishment of protected areas.

In conclusion, Polygonatum odoratum, or Angular Solomon's Seal, is a fascinating and versatile plant that has played an important role in medicine, folklore, and horticulture. Its unique appearance, sweet fragrance, and adaptability have made it a popular choice for gardeners, while its medicinal properties and cultural significance have earned it a place in traditional medicine and folklore.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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