Solomon Seal is probably my favourite shade tolerant perennial. It has graceful arching stems with beautiful, dainty hanging flowers in spring that bees love; the leaves stay dark green all summer; it’s extremely drought tolerant and, in the autumn, everything turns first deep yellow then a beautiful orange/tan before leaves and sometimes whole stems collapse to the ground.
I never ‘clean up’ this garden – I let everything decompose as it falls. And then I wait for the new shoots to poke through this natural mulch and start the cycle again.
What does it sound like?
One of my most respected colleagues really likes the stuff too. I do not get it; but then, I have never seen it doing all that well. There is also this weird native called simply ‘aralia’. It does not look like any aralia that I know. I happen to have a bit of it on one of my gardens. It dies back and gets ignored. It seems that those who are into natives really dig it.
Quite a radical transformation.
I love it but Solomon’s Seal sawfly is a pest here. The catterpillars can totally defoliate a plant and because the eggs are laid underneath the leaves you often don’t see it until too late. Do you have this pest where you live?
I have never seen them here nor even heard of them before this! All the mentions on the web I see are from the UK so perhaps they can’t survive prolonged below zero temperatures? Looks like they can be quite devastating. What a shame.
Phymatocera aterrima to give its proper name. Lucky you not having this pest.
This is a plant that I’ve been wanting to put in underneath our elderberries. Thanks for sharing the photos.
They’re SUCH a god understory plant – even in dry shade.
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