Polygonatum filipes

Common Name: slender stalk Solomon's seal 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Asparagaceae
Native Range: Southern China
Zone: 6 to 9
Height: 0.75 to 1.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: May
Bloom Description: Greenish-white
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
Fruit: Showy


Easily grown in average, medium moisture soils in part shade to full shade. Perhaps best in moist soils in part shade. Slowly spreads by rhizomes to form colonies in optimum growing conditions. Can be difficult to grow from seed.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Polygonatum filipes is a shade-loving, rhizomatous, herbaceous perennial that is native to forests, thickets and grassy slopes in southern China. It grows to 12” tall, but produces horizontally arching stems to 2’ long clad with oblong to elliptic, ribbed green leaves (to 5” long). In spring, pedicels containing 2-7, bell-shaped, greenish-white flowers hang straight down from the leaf axils along and underneath the arching stems. Flowers are followed by inedible but ornamentally attractive blue-green berries which dangle from the stems. Berries mature in late summer to early autumn.

Genus name comes from Greek words poly meaning many and gonu meaning knee joint in reference to the jointed plant rhizomes. Early herbalists believed that plants with jointed rhizomes were helpful in treating human joint disorders.

Specific epithet means with threadlike stalks.

Common name is usually considered to be in reference to the large, circular seals (scars) located on the rhizomes. However, some authorities suggest that the common name actually refers to “wound sealing properties” of the plant.


No serious insect or disease problems.


Best in shady areas of woodland gardens, wild gardens, cottage gardens, native plant or naturalized areas. Arching stems are particularly attractive in rocky woodland areas or on slopes.