Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Favorite Shady Genera Part 1 - Trillium

Spring is a bit behind us now. But, few woodland plants characterize it quite like the members of Trillium. I've known trilliums all my life having been virtually surrounded by the lovely white Trillium grandiflorum as a kid. I was excited when I started gardening to learn that there are more species in this genus, each with their own beauty. I now have eight different trilliums in my garden and every year I'm happy to see them bloom. I've found all the ones I've attempted easy to grow when I start with firm, healthy rhizomes. I select species that are native to my area or nearby and shy away from ones like the painted trillium, Trillium undulatum. It may have the most striking flower of the species, but it also has a rather strict requirement for acidic soil.

Should you decide to try growing trilliums yourself, I highly recommend Frederick W. Case's monograph published by Timber Press. As far as I can tell it is out of print. Fortunately copies appear to be available through used book dealers. Bookfinder is your friend. My experience is that Timber Press books are outstanding in all respects.

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