Polygonatum biflorum (Walter) Elliott
Coefficient of Conservatism: 4
Coefficient of Wetness: 3
Wetness Index: FACU
Physiognomy: Nt P-Forb

Forests and borders (such as roadsides): rather open and dry (oak-hickory, sassafras) or floodplain swamps; sometimes relic in fields; and wet prairies.

This species is generally a much stouter and taller plant than P. pubescens. The peduncles arch throughout their length, at least some on a plant usually bear 3–7 flowers. Polygonatum biflorum encompasses a highly variable complex, including polyploids, much in need of systematic study, and the name is here applied broadly. The diploid var. melleum (Farw.) R. P. Ownbey, is known only from a few collections from the vicinity of Algonac (St. Clair Co.) and neighboring Ontario, all other Michigan plants are evidently tetraploid and can be recognized as var. commutatum (Schult. f.) A. Dietr.

The longest leaves subtending peduncles in var. melleum are less than 3 times as long as wide, whereas in var. commutatum they are often (although not always) longer in proportion to width. The filaments in var. melleum are ± hairy, while in var. commutatum they are glabrous or minutely roughened or papillose. The flowers of var. melleum are said to be “honey-yellow” and those of var. commutatum “yellowish green to greenish white.” In var. commutatum the leafy portion of the stem is often longer than the lower naked portion, while these regions are of about equal length in var. melleum. Collectors in southern Michigan should watch for var. melleum.


Allegan County
Barry County
Berrien County
Branch County
Calhoun County
Cass County
Hillsdale County
Ingham County
Ionia County
Jackson County
Kalamazoo County
Kent County
Lenawee County
Livingston County
Macomb County
Midland County
Monroe County
Newaygo County
Oakland County
Ottawa County
Saginaw County
St. Clair County
St. Joseph County
Van Buren County
Washtenaw County
Wayne County


MICHIGAN FLORA ONLINE. A. A. Reznicek, E. G. Voss, & B. S. Walters. February 2011. University of Michigan. Web. June 29, 2022. https://michiganflora.net/species.aspx?id=834.