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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:
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.
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!
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.
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 ...
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
@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?