Monday, 27 May 2013

Garden Solomon's Seal

Garden Solomon's Seal, Polygonatum multiflorum x odoratum = P. x hybridum.  On the railway embankment, 18 May 2013.
Garden Solomon's Seal, Polygonatum x hybridum.  On the railway embankment, 18 May 2013.
This is a photo I took while working on the London Flora Project.  The local railway embankment has several garden escapes or throw-outs that have thrived in this mostly undisturbed environment.  This one just happens to be a rather nice photo, with the sun shining through the leaves.  It was taken through a hole in a mesh fence, and you can see the blurry wires at the corners.  There are garden bluebells in the background.

We know this is the garden variety of Solomon's Seal because there are two ridges on the stems.   There is a wild species with round stems and one with four ridges, and this is a cross between them. 

According to WIkipedia, the plant got its common name because depressions in the root look like royal seals; or alternatively, that the cut root resembles a Hebrew character.   I see no such depressions in photos of the roots on line.  I think imagination has been at work; perhaps in giving it its name, and certainly in thinking up explanations for it.

1 comment:

  1. You ought to win a prize in plant photography for that one! Or for art photography, if the botanical folks don't like the chain-link wires! Bravo!