March 03, 2013

The 2013 Perennial Plant of the Year™ is....

Polygonatum odoratum ‘Variegatum’ (Variegated Solomon's Seal)

It took me 2 months to get this out to you, loyal reader, but the Perennial Plant Association (which determines these kind of things and actually trademarked that designation) has listed the "winner" for this year:

Polygonatum odoratum ‘Variegatum’  Japanese Solomon’s Seal
Polygonatum odoratum ‘Variegatum’
(Japanese Solomon’s Seal)

I have the common non-variegated version in my zone 5ish backyard that receives full sun for half the day. My clump of Solomon's Seal has grown faithfully and slowly over the years in an area that has rich amended soil with average watering. Nothing spectacular, just does its thing with the arching stems and tubular white flowers dependably. I also find it somewhat susceptible to slug and snail damage so you want to place a sacrificial hosta nearby!

Here are the cultural requirements for Solomon's Seal  

A classic (i.e., over-used) combination I see for the shade garden is Solomon's Seal, a big blue hosta like "Elegans" and Japanese Painted Fern. 

Do you grow it (variegated/non-striped version) and what do you think about P.o "V" as this year's winner?


  1. .........really? plant of the year??? a rather ho humm choice...."a good doer" as some would say but not wildly outstanding....i have a theory that the nursery trade has a huge glut in stock and wants to move it.....dont get me wrong its a good bulletproof dry shade plant....

  2. Hi Dave,

    interesting theory...the choice was underwhelming, no "wow" factor with this steady and dependable perennial. Maybe the "wow" factor is the white margin and odour?