East-Asian Solomon Seal
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East-Asian Solomon Seal
ative Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: East-Asian Solomon Seal
Botanical name: Polygonatum kingianum    Family: Asparagaceae (Asparagus family)

Polygonatums or Solomon seals are graceful shade pants. These plants have rhizomes (under ground stems) that give rise to long arching unbranched stems. East-Asian Solomon Seal is a perennial herb with stem erect, 1-3 m tall, hairless, apex subscandent. Leaves are arranged in whorls of 3-10. They are stalkless, linear to lanceshaped, 6-20 cm long, 0.3-3 cm wide, herbaceous or leathery, tip coiled. Flowers are borne in 1-2-4-flowered clusters hanging on 1-2 cm stalks. Flowers are pendulous, hanging on 0.5-1.5 cm long stalks. They are pink or white, cylindric-bell-shaped, 1.8-2.5 cm long, with 3-5 mm petals. Filaments are threadlike or compressed, 1.7-5 mm. Berries are red, 1-1.5 cm in diameter, 7-12-seeded. It was named in the honor of Captain Phillip Parker King, 19th century surveyor of the Australian coastline. East-Asian Solomon Seal is found in the forests, thickets, shaded moist grassy slopes and rocks, at altitudes of 700-3600 m, in parts of China, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. We also found it growing in Manipur, probably the first record from India. Flowering: March-May.

Identification credit: Aaron Jennings Floden Photographed on Shirui Hill, Ukhrul, Manipur.

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