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Article: Don't Pick the Trillium: I feel blessed

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Forum: Article: Don't Pick the TrilliumReplies: 26, Views: 198
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KyWoods
Melbourne, KY
(Zone 6a)

May 7, 2008
5:14 AM

Post #4917731

I feel blessed to have such a rare and wonderful flower in abundance in our woods here. I didn't know they were valued medicinally, and what a bittersweet story about Aunt Bett's wedding flowers! I probably will think of her every time I see them now.

I was thinking of trying to transplant one, and even somehow send one in the mail, but it sounds like they are too fragile. Here is what ours look like:

Edit: Sorry it's a little blurred.

This message was edited May 7, 2008 1:16 AM

Thumbnail by KyWoods
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Sharran
Calvert City, KY
(Zone 7a)

May 7, 2008
5:51 AM

Post #4917777

Nice to hear from you. I have had no luck in transplanting out of their environment, though I did try quite often when I lived in the mountains. They just don't seem to like being disturbed. But I am sure there have been some successes, and yours might be one of them. Good luck, and let me know what happens.
Thanks,
sharon
debi_k
S of Lake Ontario, NY
(Zone 6a)

May 7, 2008
9:06 AM

Post #4917922

I have white Trillium in my garden, some I bought, some my sister dug from her garden, which she transplanted from her woods. The ones from my sister's garden are doing better than the one's I bought.
Trillium remind me of my mom. Loved the article!
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

May 7, 2008
12:31 PM

Post #4918284

What a lovely story, Sharon, even with the unhappy part about Aunt Bett not being able to have the children she wanted. I love your writing!
Lindawalkabout
Holden, MO
(Zone 5b)

May 7, 2008
1:49 PM

Post #4918601

Awesome story, and I too will always think of Aunt Bett's when I see a Trillium . My heart is sadden to of the story you shared but uplifted to the love she had for you , and you for her.

Just a couple of weeks ago I dug up some Trillium from my sisters woods and put a couple in my woods to see how they transplant,.

Just got back after reading your story to check them out. One is doing great and the other not so great, hope the roots will take hold.

I just got them before they started to flower. I did not know about their value other then being a wonderful flower to find in the woods while I morel hunt.


Thank you for sharing your lovely stories in the mountains with your Aunt Bett. They make me smile , laugh out loud and cry in the my heart.


and forgot to add, knowledge and wisdom to my mind and soul. Thank you


This message was edited May 7, 2008 7:51 AM
Sharran
Calvert City, KY
(Zone 7a)

May 7, 2008
2:03 PM

Post #4918676

I am so glad some of you have been able to transplant those fragile little beauties.

My attempts to transplant them were unsuccessful due to my age, no doubt, though I was still attempting to do it when I was an adult. My mother always said they would transplant if the soil content, environment, etc were replicated.

Now I just leave them where I find them, and send Aunt Bett a smile or two.
Thank you for all your comments.
wannadanc
Olympia, WA

May 7, 2008
2:12 PM

Post #4918717

I, too, was raised w/ all that wisdom about not picking the Trillium - and in later life, as a science teacher, I was able to emphasize this to my students - as well as pointing out the biology behind that.

On transplant - just one - and it is blooming today!!!

Spotting the first Trillium of the spring is rather like spotting the first pussy willows ...

Thanks so much for the article ...
gloria125
Greensboro, AL

May 7, 2008
4:21 PM

Post #4919325

I still remember the trilliums from our woods. My mom said also not to pick them or then they would be gone. I still remember the day I found a red one, and I didn't pick it hoping the next year there would be more.
But when I went back the next year, there were only white ones.

victorgardener

victorgardener
Lower Hudson Valley, NY
(Zone 6b)

May 7, 2008
4:28 PM

Post #4919370

Another great story, Sharon. It's always a treat to spot them while hiking. Thank you.
KyWoods
Melbourne, KY
(Zone 6a)

May 7, 2008
7:36 PM

Post #4920203

Hmm, good to hear some encouraging reports about transplanting!
Sharran
Calvert City, KY
(Zone 7a)

May 7, 2008
9:04 PM

Post #4920561

It is encouraging to know that some are having success with trillium transplants. Maybe there is hope for me yet.

Fun to read your comments, thank you.
gloria125
Greensboro, AL

May 7, 2008
9:33 PM

Post #4920681

Ive seen trillium plants for sale. I sure would like to have a little colony of red one's if I can make a woodsy home for them.

don't know if they would like Alabama. I know they really belong north of here.
Sharran
Calvert City, KY
(Zone 7a)

May 7, 2008
9:44 PM

Post #4920810

The trillium plants that are for sale that I have seen don't quite resemble the wild ones, something seems different about them.

Like different colored Monarda instead of the red of the wild ones.
And different shades of Spiderwort instead of the sky blue.

Something about the ones for sale now is just a little off kilter, you know?

Still beautiful, though, and still very special.
debi_k
S of Lake Ontario, NY
(Zone 6a)

May 7, 2008
9:50 PM

Post #4920828

You're right Sharon, the ones from my sister's woods are bigger, taller, more upright and seem a brighter white. The ones I bought at least 3 years ago now, are about 1/2 the size. I just bought more bare root trillium from Lowe's this year, they had both red and white, but I only bought the white. It'll probably take a few years for the last ones to get going.
Sharran
Calvert City, KY
(Zone 7a)

May 7, 2008
9:53 PM

Post #4920841

Maybe it won't take very long, Deb, you are in a good region for them.
flowerhead410
Nelson, NH
(Zone 5a)

May 7, 2008
10:26 PM

Post #4920976

Shar, once a gain a really wonderful story. You bring tears to my eyes. Thanks for sharing your wonderful stories and wisdom.

melody

melody
Benton, KY
(Zone 7a)


May 7, 2008
10:30 PM

Post #4920994

Wonderful story, as always. Thank you.
randbponder
Hornick, IA
(Zone 4b)

May 8, 2008
1:55 AM

Post #4921908

I too have to thank you. It seems that when my friend and I are walking through the timber, looking for Morels, he will ask me what kind of flower, this or that one is. and again this year I had explained to him that the three leaves and three petals were Trillium. And the May apples and Dutchman's britches. Though we haven't found any Morels yet this year it has always been a very good walk, and great exersize. as it is a rather steep gully with a very tiny stream running through it.
I did not know about the medicinal value, that will be another interesting fact I can pass on to any one else when we are traipsing through the woods in the spring. Thank you for a wonderful story.
Russ
Sharran
Calvert City, KY
(Zone 7a)

May 8, 2008
2:12 AM

Post #4922017

Thank you, good luck with the Morels, Russ.
herbalbetty
Middleburgh, NY

May 12, 2008
11:03 AM

Post #4939752

Sharon, a beautiful story. My heart goes out to Aunt Bett.

I grew up on the Canadian border of NY state and there was a spot in the woods down the road from us that was filled with trilliums. We also knew they were a protected plant. A few years ago, when the road was to be widened, I traveled home to dig up a few trilliums rather than have them bulldozed under. I am happy to report they are doing well in my woodland garden. The red trilliums we always called stinkpots due to the smell. Not pleasant!
debi_k
S of Lake Ontario, NY
(Zone 6a)

May 12, 2008
11:07 AM

Post #4939763

I remember when I was young how my mom told a story about my oldest brother picking stink pots for her for Mother's Day, and how bad they smelled but she put them in a vase anyway.
So, that's why I always liked trillium, and planted white ones because of my mom. They didn't smell bad, so I knew I had the wrong plant, but now I know it was just the wrong color!
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

May 12, 2008
11:57 AM

Post #4939904

When I saw them at a nursery, over the weekend, I thought of Aunt Bett and Sharon.
Doe41
(Audrey) Dyersburg, TN
(Zone 7a)

May 12, 2008
3:54 PM

Post #4940851

Gloria, I've seen trillium growing wild in the woods at Pinson Ala. They will grow in Ala. Thanks, Sharon for the lovely article, I do enjoy "Aunt Bett"!
Doe41/Audrey
gloria125
Greensboro, AL

May 12, 2008
4:01 PM

Post #4940878

Doe41. Thanks for the information. Ill have to check if they will grow this far south (zone 8B)
starfarmer
Ann Arbor, MI
(Zone 6a)

May 12, 2008
6:14 PM

Post #4941338

@gloria125: Trillium sulcatum, the Southern Red trillium, is native to your area. To see a picture, check out http://www.flickr.com/photos/janet_powell/453074400/ . Trillium stamineum is also native to Alabama but it is more of a collector's plant with odd greeny-red flowers. If you're set on a white-flowered wakerobin, look for Trillium simile.

As far as I can determine, at least 9 species of Trillium are native to Alabama, so you should be able to find at least ONE that works! My favorite is Trillium catesbaei, which is pale pink, nodding and looks rather like a Stargazer lily! For a list of most of them with links to pictures (along with many other stunning native Alabama plants) check out http://www.alabamaplants.com/species_list.html . Check with local Native Plant Societies for sources of plants and seed

One of the reasons for-sale trilliums may not look like the ones you grew up with is that there are over 50 species in the genus Trillium. Almost 40 are native to either the eastern or western parts of temperate North America; another five show up in Siberia, China & the Himalayas.

BTW, although the Flora of North America and other sources lists Trillium as being in the Lily family, most no longer consider them so. They were transferred to their own family Trilliaceae a few decades ago and then, about eight years ago were assigned to a distinctive family Melanthiaceae as a result of recent genetic and phylogenic studies (it's still in the Liliales, though, although more in the direction of "Kangaroo Paws" and Tradescantias than "pure" lilies!). Some other plants of the Melanthiaceae you may be familiar with are Paris (Herb Paris), Veratrum (False Hellebore ), Xerophyllum (Beargrass) and Zigadenus ( Death Camas and Star Lily). Of course, some authorities disagree with all of this...for a good overview of the contrary view, check out http://www.goldsword.com/sfarmer/Trillium/ .

A subject rich in folklore, medicine, history and science...what more can you ask for?
Cheers,
Len
gloria125
Greensboro, AL

May 12, 2008
8:08 PM

Post #4941720

starfarmer: thanks for the information. As an archaeologist I have done a lot of stomping around in the Alabama woods in most seasons.

Ive never seen a trillium here. Its good to know they SHOULD be here.

thanks for the links.

gloria
KyWoods
Melbourne, KY
(Zone 6a)

May 13, 2008
12:31 AM

Post #4942743

Ya know, I never thought to smell the red ones here. Gee, I do hope they're not "stinkpots", lol !

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