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Trillium

Trillium - Trillium

A genus of about 43 species of showy, spring flowering plants, best suited in open shade. 38 of the species are from North America, the majority of those are from the Eastern part of the USA. Many species occur in small localized regions. Plants have three parted flowers with three petals three sepals and three leaf like bracts and no observable leaves. All are long lived perennials with rhizomatrous rhizomes that tend to be deeply positioned with contractile, ringed roots.
Propagation is best by way of seeds, but germination can take a few years and 5 to 8 years of growth can often be needed before flowering. Seedlings start with plants with single some what rounded “leaves” the first year and the next years have the typical three parted “leaves” [Bracts]. Grown best in moist humus rich soils, they respond very well to a foliar application of liquid fertilizer every few weeks or so. Do not allow the soils to become overly dry but many species are drought tolerant in summer and fall. All parts of the plants are poisonous, some species more so than others. Long lived plants that live 30 years or more and were happy they will self seed. The easiest species to grow is T. grandiflorum and T. erectum.

A number of the species can hybridize and many species have many different races that vary in flower color and size of plants ( thought often the size differences are caused by nutritional and growing conditions) Seeds are best sown as soon as ripe, once the crunical ( a small fleshy structure on the seeds) dries, seeds start to go into a deep dormancy or die. Seeds need a warm, cold, warm, cold, warm cycle to germinate most often, but seeds sown as soon as ripe sometime germinate the next spring.
Vegetative propagation is possible too, with wounding of the rhizomes producing small off sets that are removed and planted.