Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Large-flowered Trillium Expansion

I’m not sure if explosion is the right term to use in describing what happened to my population of Large-Flowered Trilliums, Trillium grandiflorum, but I’m going to use it anyway. I was excited to find that both my total number of trillium plants and the total number of blooming plants has doubled over what I counted last year. Saying that it went from 6 plants to 12 doesn’t sound quite as impressive. Things are trending in the right direction and that always makes me happy.

This plant, as well as the one in the first photo, bloomed last year. The late season drought doesn’t seem to have hurt them any.

I’ve never seen this plant bloom before. It has been a nice, robust plant for several years, so I knew it was only a matter of time.

This plant is part of a threesome grouping and has never bloomed before. In fact, I had never seen these plants before. They have obviously been there for quite a while, but they’re hidden in a little sheltered nook a little ways around the hill from the other nine. These three plants really take the power out of my explosion since they should have been included in last year’s count. That would make my total increase only 33% instead of 100%. Fortunately, my measure is the number actually counted, so I can legitimately claim the 100% increase.

The steep slopes on this site help to keep predators away from the plants. Deer go either direction and find easier slopes to climb, so they’re not likely to browse the trilliums. During wet weather the hill is far too steep and slippery for me to climb. I would assume that most large animals, such as myself, would try to work their way around this area.

The really exciting part of my Trillium population explosion is the addition of three small plants. This is the smallest of the three.

It’s encouraging to see that my plants are producing some viable seed. I have a photo taken three years ago that shows this spot to be trillium free. Five years ago, my pollinating brush began visiting the two or three blooms that typically showed up. Maybe I’m doing the right things here.

The big rock sticking out of the hillside is about as good a marker as any you could find. I shouldn’t have any trouble finding this exact spot each spring. Is it too early to start worrying that the trilliums are going to crowd out everything else on the hillside?


  1. Truely awesome news!Are you just letting the ants do their thing or had you planned on some manual seed dispersion? I found a woodland site with literally thousands of T.grandiflorum..the proverbial "Carpet"!When i walked in upon it for the first time , in the dappled morning light,it was a truely amazing site to behold!

  2. HI Steve...Beauty of a plant....wish we had them here!! Good that they are spreading !!
    I love it when something appears with a blossom when you never noticed the plant before!!
    There is buds on the yellow lady slipper again this year....hope they make it!!
    I thought we all live on a slipper slope..hahaha!!

  3. Hi, Michael. So far, the seed spreading has all been natural. That's because I have yet to find a seed on any plant. I'll keep checking, though. If I do find some seeds I'll probably spread them around in some likely locations.

    Hi, grammie g. My slipper has two big stalks forming, but I haven't seen any buds yet. I'm hoping for a double bloom.
    On another topic, I noticed that you've been getting up on the ladder to fix the birdhouse. I hope I'm not going to be reading about how you've fallen off. When you said you were on your back taking pictures of the sun, I thought you were going to say that's where you fell. Make sure you stay safe.