What kind of plant is this?

(Question)

Hi, I am in North York and new to gardening and looking to plant some perennials in my front lawn in an area surrounding a cherry tree. I’ve already started to plant some hostas. There is a plant I’ve seen around Toronto in front yards, which I think would suit this area well. Would it be possible to identify this plant? Picture is attached.

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(Answer)

Congratulations on taking up such a wonderful new hobby.  Having added shade tolerant hostas to your garden surrounding your cherry tree, you are already well on your way.  The plant you are admiring is Polygonatum biflorum, commonly known as Solomon’s Seal.   This North American native plant is a herbaceous perennial, meaning it dies back right to the ground each year.  Solomon’s Seal prefers part shade to complete shade, likes moist humusy soil and will slowly spread by rhizomes to form clumps.

There are a few different varities of this plant which generally vary in size.  One of my personal favourites that I have in my own woodland garden is Polygonatum biflorum ‘Variegatum’ , which as the name suggests, has leaves that are delicately outlined in white.

This plant would be a lovely addition to your garden.  Four more information on shade tolerant plants please see our gardening guide found here: