ANGULAR SOLOMON'S-SEAL

Polygonatum odoratum

Asparagus Family [Asparagaceae]

Flowers:
month8jun month8june month8jul month8july

Berries: berryZpossible        berryZgreen berryZyellow berryZbluish berryZblack  (poisonous, astringent)
berry8aug berry8sep berry8sept berry8oct berry8nov berry8dec

Berries: berryZpossible        berryZbluish berryZblack  (poisonous, astringent)
berry8sep berry8sept berry8oct berry8nov berry8dec

status
statusZnative
 
flower
flower8white
 
inner
inner8cream
 
morph
morph8actino
 
petals
petalsZ6
 
type
typeZspiked
 
type
typeZtubular
 
stem
stem8angular
 
smell
smell8fragra
fragrant
toxicity
toxicityZmedium
 
rarity
rarityZscarce
 

8th March 2013, Bavaria Photo: © Dawn Nelson
The stems are either fully erect or erect for a the first stage then arching over where the flowers start, just like the book says.


8th March 2013, Bavaria Photo: © Dawn Nelson
On this specimen the stems are more than just angular as per specification; they are also fluted in places. A single flower (up to 2 flowers) emerge from each leaf axil, no more.


8th March 2013, Bavaria Photo: © Dawn Nelson
The flowers on Angular Solomon's-seal are not in the slightest either slightly waisted or waisted in the middle like other species of Solomon's-seals, but are slightly bulging instead.


Gait Barrows, nr Silverdale, Lancs. Photo: © Peter Llewellyn
Later in the year the ovary expands in becoming a berry and the petals wither then fall away.


Gait Barrows, nr Silverdale, Lancs. Photo: © Peter Llewellyn
The white petals have shrivelled up and all are about to fall off the developing berries, which are green at first, becomming blue-black. They are toxic. Main veins and fainter secondary and tertiary veins by transmitted light.


7th June 2014, Gait Barrows, nr Silverdale, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The shortest Solomon's-seal growing to about 40cm high. Grows in woods on limestone, or as here, protected from the ravages of any wind within a limestone gryke.


7th June 2014, Gait Barrows, nr Silverdale, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Leaves alternate, as they are on all Solomon's-seals except those on the very rare Whorled Solomon's-seal when they are in whorls. [A different plant is growing deeper within the gryke, as well as grass by the side].


7th June 2014, Gait Barrows, nr Silverdale, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Leaves elliptical with a few curving veins which converge at each end; stem and tip. The stalks drooping down held a flower each, but they have dropped off by June (or maybe the same organism that has been consuming the leaves has also been at the developing berries?). The flowers are in only small bunches (of just one to two for each leaf axil, here only one).


7th June 2014, Gait Barrows, nr Silverdale, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Leaves alternate.


7th June 2014, Gait Barrows, nr Silverdale, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Curly whirly leaves. There are several fainter veins between the main veins.


7th June 2014, Gait Barrows, nr Silverdale, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
One flower stalk, although all the petals have dropped off, still retains the ovary (which will become the berry) and the long single style.


7th June 2014, Gait Barrows, nr Silverdale, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Hiding behind the leaves (if only your Author had noticed before taking the photograph - but it was raining heavily) on the limestone pavement is a single berry (as yet an un-ripe yellowish-green), but it will ripen to a bluish-black. They are both poisonous and astringent.


No relation to : Solomon's Mines.

Easily mistaken for : other Solomon's-seals unless observed closely.

The Genus name of Solomon's-seals, Polygonatum can easily be misinterpreted as Polygonum which is the genus name of Knotgrasses such as Ray's Knotgrass (Polygonum oxyspermum).

As a Solomon's-seal species - it has uniquely identifiable characteristics, but differentiating between species requires careful observation.

Angular Solomon's-seal is differentiated from all others by the 4-angled stems, the number of flowers (only 1-2 each leaf axil) the shortness (only ~40cm high) and the flowers which are not pinched in the middle (as are other Solomon's-seals to varying degrees). The flowers are fragrant, hence the odoratum as the specific epithet.

It is native and grows either in basic woodlands or in limestone grykes in North-West England and the Peak District, or around the Severn Estuary. It does not often occur natively elsewhere, except scattered in the South, although it can be found escaped from gardens. It is a quite rare [RR].


  Polygonatum odoratum  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Asparagaceae  

Distribution
 family8Asparagus family8Asparagaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Polygonatum
Polygonatum
(Solomon's-Seals)

ANGULAR SOLOMON'S-SEAL

Polygonatum odoratum

Asparagus Family [Asparagaceae]