propagating trilliums

lisa03(USDA5)March 20, 2006

I have a number of small patches of trillium grandiflorum in my backyard woods and would like to help them increase in size. I am wondering if division or collecting and spreading seeds (or both) is the way to go. Last year I purchased fresh trillium seed to start some new patches, but it is too soon to see if that will be successful (I sowed them in woods.) Does anyone have advice on this?

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kwoods(Cold z7 Long Is)

Trillium seeds have a seedcoat containing germination inhibitors. ANts usaull eat the coat and thus disperse the seeds. Trillium seeds also require double dormancy (two 3 month cold periods w/ a warm period between) to germinate. The first cold period is required to break "radicle dormancy" and the second is needed to break "epicotyl dormancy". Fresh seed (not dried) is best.

Mine have spred nicely both in clumps and seedlings sprouting up. I take the seed before the ants get them and kind of squeeze them out of their seedcoat and into the ground. Takes around 4 yrs from seedling to flower for me.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2006 at 4:00PM
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Thanks kwoods. I'll try collecting seeds from mine this year, following your suggestion.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2006 at 6:29PM
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I have also found in rescuing trilliums from construction sites, when you have enough of the root corm, they will shoot up another plant the next year, sometimes two.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2006 at 1:09PM
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Thanks, plantbug. I have heard division increases the stock quickly so your observation reinforces that. Since my woods are very rocky and hard to dig in, I'll try spreading seeds around first. But I may try division on one patch to see how it goes as this is probably the quickest way to get more flowering plants.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2006 at 6:19AM
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ellen_s(z5 centralMA)

hi Lisa
I attended a wildflower propagation seminar last year with William Cullina from the NE Wildflower Society and he showed us how easy it is to divide trilliums...even one small piece of a corm will easily multiply into new plants. I think they are pretty resilient. He was pulling them up out of the beds, pulling thenm apart and nearly throwing the divisions at us :-)

Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 23, 2006 at 10:58AM
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chitown(Z5 IL)

Hi Ellen,

Did Mr. Cullina put anything on the broken bits of corm? Rooting hormone? Or did he just say to plant them as is?


    Bookmark   March 31, 2006 at 4:23PM
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cypsavant(z5/6 Ontario)

I'd like to know more details as well.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2006 at 11:32PM
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