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Powerhouse Plant For All Seasons: Polygonatum odoratum var. pluriflorum ‘Variegatum’

Polygonatum odoratum var. pluriflorum ‘Variegatum’ - summer and autumn foliage. Image ©GardenPhotos.comTime for a look at another Powerhouse Plant, these are Plants For All Seasons - individual varieties which provide color and interest for at least two seasons of the year and not just a fleeting flush of flowers followed by months of dull foliage. I feature over five hundred of them in my latest book, Powerhouse Plants, and every month in Gardeners' World, Britain’s top-selling garden magazine (and also available in the US) I focus on one very special Plant For All Seasons, highlighting three features which bring color to the garden at different times of the year. This month, in the magazine, I feature Cornus kousa, next month it’s Ampelopsis brevipedunculata var. maximowiczii ‘Elegans’, a lovely plant in spite of its long-winded name.

And every month here on my Transatlantic Gardener blog I bring you details of another Powerhouse Plant this month it’s another with a long name: Polygonatum odoratum var. pluriflorum ‘Variegatum’ (click to enlarge) – a perennial with four, yes four, different features.

As I look out of my window today, it’s the bright yellow, daintily dappled autumn leaf color which stands out, arching elegantly. Earlier, it was the neatly white-edged green foliage that caught the eye, with the addition of small, green-tipped white bells dancing daintily.

Those white bells are followed by blue-black berries although, I have to say, they don’t seem to last very long Polygonatum odoratum var. pluriflorum ‘Variegatum’ - colorful spring shoots. Image ©GardenPhotos.com here before something eats them. But before all that, right at the start of the season, there are these dramatic red spring shoots.

This is a vigorous, graceful multi-season perennial for light shade or a site that’s shaded for part of the day – I’d say its spring to autumn interest and that fact that it’s so easy to grow makes it indispensible.

In North America you can buy plants of Polygonatum odoratum var. pluriflorum ‘Variegatum’ from Digging Dog Nursery, and a whole range of other exciting polygonatums is available from Plant Delights.

In Britain you can order Polygonatum odoratum var. pluriflorum ‘Variegatum’ from these RHS PlantFinder nurseries.