Ain't nuthin like ridin' a fine horse in a new country - Augustus McCrae – Lonesome Dove

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Trillium Time of Year~

I'm sure I'm in good company, when I say that the Western Trillium is my favorite native plant of Spring!  The first time I found one I had no idea that it was a Washington native.  Researching the plant is almost as interesting as finding one!  Almost impossible to cultivate, most of those sold in nurseries are collected in the wild.  A very unethical thing to do - since a huge percentage die after being disturbed.  Requiring seven to ten years to flower, they can live for thirty-years!  These are rare gems!
A large, fresh beauty~
 Ben & I found the above plant in April of 2011, just a short walk from his house outside Darrington.  Growing in very deep, lush organic soil - it remains one of the most beautiful I've ever seen.
A week later~
 Just a week later, we were again out walking & found the above plant - a triple :-)  Fragile should be included in their name...  The more I read about them, the more it amazes me that they continue to exist.
Thank you Joyce~
 These two examples, were posted to Facebook by my friend Joyce.  I did a re-check on my facts & yes, I was right - they do darken with age. There are varieties that do bloom in pink, but they are very rare & are found in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.
I've never seen one this dark.  Slugs & other ground bugs soon find them & start eating the pedals long before the bloom has faded.  Hard pounding rain takes it toll on the blooms too - as the season progresses.  The leaves will continue for a quite a while after the blooms are gone.  That's a very good thing, since it's those leaves & blooms that feed the bulb below.

They are very difficult o transplant. The bulb is very deep in the soil & the slightest disturbance is enough to damage it.  Please don't pick them either...   The bloom wilts almost in front of your eyes & without it's top - again - the bulb dies.

There are many good links on-line if you're interested enough to read up on these beauties.  It's the thrill of finding that first one in the Spring & trying to capture it's stunning beauty with a photo, that I look forward to!    Below are some good links!
Washington Native Plant Society
The Wild Garden
Red Variety


  1. I would absolutely never take one from the wild, but I had several in an area on my property in western Washington that were in the path of construction. I carefully dug down to the bulb and transplanted them at the same depth in my shade garden, and all survived and continue to multiply and bloom. There are a couple of good videos on youtube on how to do it.

    1. Good that you could save them & that they are thriving. My hope is that as I mentioned, they are left where found - unless development threatens...


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