Late April and early May is Trillium time in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.
Seeing Trillium along the trails in the mountains close to my cabin has inspired me to include them in my gardens. Little by little, as the saying goes. Yes, little by little, I am getting Trillium incorporated into my cabin gardens. The photograph, above is one of my garden Trillium, a White Trillium, Trillium grandiflorum, which is easy to find on the trails of the higher elevations of Snow Mountain and Hightop.
And here, another image of White Trillium, Trillium grandiflorum, in bud.
There is another form of the White Trillium, pictured in bud above, which blooms in pale pink and white. This is Trillium grandiflorum forma roseum. I don’t have this form in my gardens. This image was taken further up the mountain, very near Shenandoah National Park.
I’m in search of a nursery that has this form of Trillium, but I must be *cautious* to only purchase any of these Trillium from a nursery which grows its plants from seed and does not dig them from the wild. One must be careful too, not to pick any portion of a wild Trillium, since doing this can cause the entire plant to die. Though I have many acres up here, I would not pick or transplant any of the Trillium on my property, since I believe they are happy where Mother Nature has planted them. I must find a reliable source to make my gardens beautiful.
Hiking this time of year provides such breath taking views of Trillium carpeting the forest floor. An experience that makes lugging two heavy cameras and various lenses well worth it. This image above, is another image of Trillium grandiflorum forma roseum.
Yellow Trillium, Trillium luteum, is another of the Trillium that are in my garden. Not many, but I am hoping for these and others to spread as the years go by. And, Oh MY! Does this one have a delightful, lemon scent!
Here, another species of the small population of Trillium that populate my gardens. This one, pictured above, Prairie Trillium, Trillium recurvatum.
Trillium are a family of plants that produce seeds that have an appendage, called an elaiosome, which are attractive to ants, who gather the seeds, and feed them to their larvae. Once the lipid and protein rich elaiosomes are consumed, the ants take the seeds to their “trash room” which is a splendid environment for the seeds to sprout. I’m hoping ants will help *my* Trillium spread.
The showstopper, above, is the Red Trillium, Trillium erectum, which I have only seen in Shenandoah National Park. It is on my mountain, but within park boundaries. One of these days I’ll find this one, at a dependable native plant nursery, and add it to my collection.
And now, my Trillium, at least the White Trillium, are fading, looking like the ghosts of Trillium past. I’m looking forward to seeing what stunning plants will emerge as the season progresses. How about you?