questions about trilliums

lisa2004(NY Z5/6)January 1, 2006

Trilliums sound like a great plant for my garden. Can anyone tell me which are the best varieties to grow? Can they be grow from seed? Is there an online nursery that has a very wide variety of woodland plants? Thanks, once again, for your help.

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ladyslppr(z6 PA)

Trilliums are nice plants for stable, shady, woodlands. They aren't well suited for woodland edge, where they might have to compete with plants like asters, goldenrods, and grasses, and they don't do well with pet or human traffic.

The best varieties depend on what your garden is like. Large-flowered trillium (Trillium grandiflorum) is nice for typical deciduous woodlands under trees like oaks, hickories, tulip poplar, etc. Painted trillium is nice for more acidic woodlands such as mixed hardwood and hemlock woods. Red trillium does well in moist deciduous woodlands. I'm not too familiar with growing any other species.

I think there are lots of good online nurseries, but can't recommend any. Trilliums grow very slowly from seed so you probably want to start with plants.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2006 at 3:52PM
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waplummer(Z5 NY)

Trilliums from seed take five or more years from sowing to flowering, but it is a great way to grow them if you are willing to wait. Two nureseries that come to mind are Munchkin Nursery and Roslyn Nursery. There is a Trillium-L email group that distrubutes seed each year, but too late for this year. They also have some far-reaching discussions. Some you should start with are T. grandiflorum, T. luteum and T. cuneatum. Another of my favorites is T. vaseyi. The painted trillium, T. undulatum is difficult to grow.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2006 at 4:28PM
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I think it is best if you purchase a few plants of a common type that grows in your area.
If they like the location you selected then they will self-seed. The seeds are surrounded by a sticky fragrant coating. Ants disperse the seeds as soon as they are ready.
Start out with T. grandiflorum
My favorite is Trillium albidum. I'm not sure though if T. albidum is hardy in zone 6
Good Luck. T. are worth every effort.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2006 at 8:04PM
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As you can tell from my name, I love Trilliums. I don't know where you are in NY, but in Western Mass the New England Wild Flower Society has their Nasami Farm Nursery that carries Trilliums. In zone 6 you can grow most T. except maybe some of the western ones and the some of the Japanese ones. My favorie is T. catesbaei. When buying T.s plan on spending over $30 a plant, because of their long seed to flower time. Anyone selling then for less than $10 dug them up from the woods and should not get your buisness. There is a great book by the Frederick and Roberta Case called Trilliums it is available through Timber Press. Have fun with them and remember, sometime they like to hide for a season, doesn't mean they are dead. Oh and p.s. deer love them so they should be protected

    Bookmark   January 11, 2006 at 8:24AM
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There is a Trillium guru in GA that operates a mail-order nursery and sells ONLY NURSERY PROPAGATED! stock. He grows almost all of the NA natives from seed or rhizome division, but ocassionally has a waiting list for some of the more rare species. AND none of his listings are that expensive, the more common one's are in the $5+/- range.
E-mail me for his address & phone #, if interested.(the e-mail link should be on the See my Journal page)

    Bookmark   January 11, 2006 at 12:26PM
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nativescaping(z5a IL)

I've grown T. grandiflorum, T. sessile, and T. recurvatum from seed -all are easy from seed if the seed is planted fresh. It does take several years to get a flowering plant. I keep the plants growing in pots for the first few years so I can watch over them better than if seed are simply sown in the garden. Only a single leaf blade will come up the first year - after two of three seasons, the typical tri-parted leaf will appear.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2006 at 1:19PM
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i would love a list of mail order nurserys for trillium. especially the ga nursery.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2006 at 11:25AM
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leslie197(z5 MI)


I thought my experience with trilliums might be helpful to you. I'm a general gardener and do not have a woodland, but like to browse here occasionally and often find the information on plants here very helpful. Some years back as my all sun yard started turning into a more shady one, I decided to add some shade plants under a very dense, wide, & fairly low-growing Coralburst crabapple tree.

I didn't want just the same old things I had grown in other shade gardens, so when I came across trilliums at my favorite local nursery, I gave them a try.

I purchased T. luteum (yellow) and T. cuneatum (dark red), but because they were quite expensive I only bought a couple of each. They both had nice marbled foliage, but I did not see them bloom until the following year. The 3rd year they were nowhere to be seen. :~(

The next year they were back :~) I had no idea that they were prone to skip a year - I just thought their return was a miracle, well at least a happy surprise.

The trilliums continued to bloom for the next few years among the maidenhair ferns, epimediums, columbines, and mini hostas.

The year before last I was surprised to find I had more trilliums than I started with, actually quite a few more. I now have quite a nice little patch of them. I think by accident I found a good place for the trilliums - good soil & not too much competition, as others have stated in their posts.

Although my location has heavy deciduous shade & some dryness, it has only partial shade from the wonderful but bare branching of this tree during trillium season. Also the tree roots of this particular tree do not interfere at all with planting. Supplemental water is provided by a soaker hose. The bed is naturally topdressed by lots of small falling leaves and I periodically add a mix of composted manure and humus to the area.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2006 at 4:05PM
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