New Series: One Thing I Learned This Year by Peggy Spaeth

One Several Important Thing(s) I Learned This Year

The official Ohio state flower is the carnation (a Mediterannean native!) but the official Ohio state wildflower is our native trillium.  This past spring I visited Garden in the Woods and the horticulturist mentioned that white trillium petals turned pink after the flower has been pollinated.   (I didn’t know that!)  Since this is the first year I’ve had trillium in my garden it was the perfect opportunity to observe this beautiful spring ephemeral daily.  These photos track the buds through flowering and setting seed.  Observing the seed case I thought there would be one big seed inside.  I was surprised when it burst open and scattered a whole bunch of shiny brown seeds on the ground. (I didn’t know that!)  I learned it takes up to seven years for trillium rhizomes to produce a flowering plant.  (I didn’t know that!)  If you want to learn more about trillium seed development here is a fascinating article and another about propagation.  Wouldn’t it be great if there was a plant nursery in NE Ohio that propagated our native woodland ephemerals so everyone could enjoy them in their garden?

Trillium, white 2015.05.12 Essex
Trillium, white 2015.05.12 Essex

More photos are here.


6 thoughts on “New Series: One Thing I Learned This Year by Peggy Spaeth

  1. Barry Glick sells trillium out of his place in West Virginia, Sunfarm. He raises them, propagates them–sells them at a reasonable price and they always come wrapped carefully in peat moss. He is not in Ohio, but the next best thing.

  2. Native trilliums have been for sale the last few years at the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes Plant Sale in May, along with many other Ohio native spring ephemerals — the sale emphasizes Ohio native plants.

  3. Thank you Peggy. I have often wondered about the Trillium that grow wild in my mother’s woodland garden in Westlake. I may transplant one or two too my garden in Lakewood.

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