Polygonatum graminifolium Hook., Hooker’s Icon. Pl. 9: t. 833 1851. ;

Hook. Ic. Pl. t. 833 ; dwarf, leaves crowded membranous linear obtuse, peduncles 2-fld., perianth cylindric, anthers inserted near the mouth of the corolla. Baker in Journ. Linn. Soc. xiv. 557.

WESTERN HIMALAYA ; Barung, alt 11,000 ft., Munro.
Rootstock fleshy, constricted at the internodes. Stem 6 in. Leaves 1.1/2-2 in., 1-nerved. Flowers violet ; peduncle and pedicels about half as long as the leaves. Perianth 1/3 in. long ; lobes oblongs about equalling the tube.—I have seen no specimen.
(From The Flora of British India Vol. 6 (1892) from IBIS Flora)

Few days back I was in Badrinath area in a family tour and found little time to shoot plants; however, managed to find few interesting plants there. The most precious catch was Polygonatum graminifolium Hook. (Asparagaceae), a very rare Polygonatum species included in ‘1997 IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants’. This species is an endemic of Western Himalaya and rarely seen and photographed in the Himalaya. Though known in cultivation in plant nurseries of Europe little information is available on its wild populations in the Western Himalaya. Consequently, it is assigned the status of Indeterminate (I) in IUCN Red List. During last 25 years in Uttarakhand I have seen only two small populations of very few individuals.
It is new for efi.

Thank you on several counts
On one I loved seeing the pictures
on other levels / counts nice to become aware of the fragility in nature.
we as a whole would be that much more careful about pollution etc overall, for all endangered species, including honest human beings!!!


My Flora Picture of the Year 2015: D S Rawat : 5 posts by 5 authors. Attachments (1)
Polygonatum graminifolium Hook. ‘Grass-leaved Solomon’s Seal’ (Asparagaceae)
This tiny monocot herb is a denizen of sub alpine and alpine zones of Western Himalaya in the elevation range of 3300-3800 m. I first saw this species way back in June 1994 while surveying Kedarnath area. It was growing over a large boulder in a crevice and without any consideration for its rarity in nature I collected both flowering individuals seen there. I hope it still survives there as the location of this boulder was not affected by the flash flood of June 2013.
Nearly after two decades, I saw this tiny friend once again in Badrinath area, on way to Vasudhara, during June 2015. Growing below a small boulder along the trekking rout it was raising the cluster of few leaves and flowers to unfold its beauty to outer world. This time I was careful to allow him all the life and took only the photographs, not the specimens.
Google search indicates that it is less photographed species in its homeland (Western Himalaya) and most of its photographs are from nurseries of Europe.  On account of its rarity and endemism it was included in ‘1997 IUCN Red List of Threatened Vascular Plant Species’. I now know few of its populations where this tiny herb of 5-10 cm is struggling hard to survive. Interestingly, one of my research students also photographed this species in Valley of Flowers area, Uttarakhand in June 2015 almost in the same duration when I saw it in Badrinath area.

Very nice picture, and more so its account. …, wonderful !!

Really a wonderful plant which needs due consideration from the conservation biologists..
Thanks … for sharing your experience in a precise way, and nice to know about the rediscovery of this herb after a gap…that too in more than one location..!!


Polygonatum verticillatum (L.) All.: 5 high res. images.

Location: Dhorpatan, Baglung, Nepal 
Date: 31 May 2023
Elevation: 2900 m.

Habit : Wild

Not sure what to call this. Until the taxonomic issues of the former P. verticillatum in the Himalaya are taken care of there is no good name for some of these verticillate species there. There are multiple cytotypes with different base numbers and ploidy within those numbers (2n=28, 30, 56, 60, and higher), and then the phylogenetic issues of similar appearing taxa in different clades.

Polygonatum sibiricum Redouté ??

No, P. sibiricum is northeastern China west to Mongolia and into northeastern Gansu. It is a distinctive plant with glaucous leaves and pure white flowers.

I am enclosing the latest checklist from Nepal if it could be helpful to ID the sp.
3 images.

I am working with RBGE and a Nepalese co-author to rewrite the key and flora of Nepal for Polygonatum.
I’ll say that P. curvistylum definitely does not occur in Nepal. It is a species endemic to a small area of Sichuan and Yunnan provinces, China. I suspect the plant in question must be a lax-leaved P. graminifolium.

In that case the database in POWO, CoL, GBIF and efloraNepal/China need to be revised.

By the way I have noticed pink flowers only in the Net for P. graminifolium.

I agree. There is still a lot of work to do in Polygonatum. The concepts of the species need to first be tested using molecular data and cytological data. The morphology of each also needs to be well documented with closeup images of the leaves and dissected flowers. Rhizome morphology and growth patterns will also be important. I am willing to assist in any way I can.
Polygonatum verticillatum in Europe and the Caucasus has trichomes along the abaxial veins of the leaves. In the Himalaya only P. geminiflorum has these trichomes. In China there are a few others that do, but the plants in the Himalaya referred to as P. verticillatum are glabrous or merely scabrous on the veins.

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