Trillium

Trillium is a genus in the Trilliaceae family with 43 species, with 38 in North America and 5 in Asia. The leaves, petals, and sepals come in parts of 3 and are indicative of the genus name. Plants grow from thickened rhizomes. They are mostly woodland plants that require shade and humus rich soil.

Growing Trillium from seed require more attention than some other geophyte species. Seeds require two warm/cold cycles to germinate (they won't germinate until the second spring after they have been sown). However, this rule does not apply to T. rivale, which ought to sprout after only one cycle (Diana Chapman). Collect seeds of Trillium just when they are ripe and keep them moist until sown. If they are to be shipped away, they must be kept moist otherwise they will enter a deep dormancy that will take much longer (sometimes 3 warm/cold cycles) to germinate (Bill Dijk). For better results, sow the seeds ASAP in a well-drained mix. Hasten the germination period by exposing the seeds to artificial warm/cold cycles, with 2-3 months of warmth, followed by a cold period in the refrigerator. Repeat this process until germination occurs (Bill Dijk). It has been reported that various chemicals and physical abrasion of the seed coat also helps to break dormancy but growers on this forum finds that the best way is just to keep the seeds moist and sow them fresh. Arils in Trillium seeds probably do not inhibit germination in at least T. ovatum as found by (Diana Chapman). Mary Sue Ittner found the best results after trying some of these methods with Trillium ovatum was the simple method of planting the seed directly in the garden when it was ripe in a spot she expected it would like.

Representatives of some of the species are shown below.

Trillium albidum, looking down on multiple stems, Dave BrastowTrillium decumbens, John LonsdaleTrillium luteum, Nhu NguyenTrillium ovatum, spotted leaves, Mary Sue IttnerTrillium pusillum var. pusillum, John LonsdaleTrillium stamineum, John Lonsdale

For more photos and information about the species select the appropriate wiki page or click on the name in the table below:


Trillium species
Trillium albidum Trillium catesbaei Trillium chloropetalum Trillium cuneatum
Trillium decipiens Trillium decumbens Trillium discolor Trillium erectum
Trillium flexipes Trillium aff. flexipes Trillium foetidissimum Trillium gracile
Trillium grandiflorum Trillium kurabayashii Trillium lancifolium Trillium ludovicianum
Trillium luteum Trillium maculatum Trillium nivale Trillium ovatum
Trillium parviflorum Trillium pusillum Trillium recurvatum Trillium reliquum
Trillium rivale Trillium rugelii Trillium sessile Trillium simile
Trillium stamineum Trillium sulcatum Trillium tschonoskii Trillium undulatum
Trillium underwoodii Trillium vaseyi

Much of the information on the Trillium wiki pages was supplied by John Lonsdale.
For more information about Trillium search the Trillium-l archives and see Trillium and the Trilliaceae.


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Page last modified on January 31, 2014, at 05:28 PM