King's Solomon Seal
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King's Solomon Seal
ative Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: King's 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. King's 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. King's 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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