Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Polygonatum multiflorum (L.) All.

Fully hardy rhizomatous perennial with arching stems bearing from each lower leaf axil up to 6 pendant, tubular green-tipped white flowers, to 1cm long.  To 90cm.  [RHSE, Hortus].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘Solomon’s-Seal.  Polygonatum & Sigillum Solomonis.  The stalks grow to two foot high, the leaves are a grass green above and a willow green underneath, and the flowers white tinctured with green.  It grows wild in several woods and copses here, and flowers in May.  The leaves & root are used, being esteemed vulnerary and restringent, good to stop all kinds of fluxes & haemorrhages, & consolidate wounds, fractures and ruptures, especially the root.  Matthiolus commends the root, preserved in sugar, as of great service against ye Fluor albus.  Some say a Cataplasm of ye root is good to take away black and blue marks arising from contusions.’  [Blackwell pl.251/1737].

History at Camden Park

Listed in the 1850 and 1857 catalogues [B.403/1850].  Macarthur’s ‘Polygonatum sp.’ is likely to be Polygonatum multiflorum as this name was hand-written in an 1850 copy of the catalogue held at the Mitchell Library, signed by William Macarthur and dated 23rd Dec. 1854.  [ML635.9m].


A less likely possibility is Polygonatum x hybridum Hort., a Polygonatum multiflorum (L.) All. x Polygonatum odoratum (Mill.) Druce hybrid, the Common Solomon’s seal, a plant of garden origin.

A popular Victorian plant it is a fully hardy, rhizomatous perennial with arching, hairless stems bearing alternate, lance-shaped leaves held horizontally, and pendant, tubular, green-tipped, creamy-white flowers in spring.  To 1.5m by 30cm.  [RHSE].

Published Jan 09, 2010 - 05:11 PM | Last updated Jul 16, 2010 - 03:23 PM

Figured are leaves and arching stem bearing from each lower leaf axil pendant, tubular white flowers.  Blackwell pl.251, 1739.

Polygonatum multiflorum (L.) All. | Blackwell pl.251/1739 | BHL

Family Convallariaceae
Region of origin

Europe and Asia

  • Convallaria multiflora L. 
Common Name

Solomon’s Seal

Name in the Camden Park Record

Polygonatum sp. 

Confidence level medium