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Trillium sessile

 
Trillium sessile
toadshade trillium
Trillium sessile

Common name toadshade trillium
Family melanthiaceae
Life cycle perennial (Z4-8)
Flowers maroon
Size 12"
Light part-full shade
Cultural notes moist soil; do not transplant

Woodland perennial, native to the US. Dark-and-light-mottled foliage. After quite a few unsuccessful attempts to grow trilliums from seed, I finally broke down and ordered live plants by mail (three, of course!). They arrived bare-root and barely awake, but upon planting quickly developed their first three leaves. Even though our shade garden is tiny, I figured it wouldn't be complete without at least one species of this charming woodland genus. Maroon flowers appeared the second year, and again the third year – but the plants weren't getting any bigger (certainly nowhere near the 12" they should attain). I finally moved them out of the shade garden, where they were overpowered by their taller neighbors from late spring onward, into a more open woodland experiment in the middle of our back yard island. Sure enough, a couple years later the plants seem happier and grew a bit larger (see photo at top compared to one at right).

toadshade trillium
Trillium row in the woodland garden (with T. grandiflorum at right)

We left this plant behind in our Pennsylvania garden (and wish it well); we don't grow it in Houston.

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Last modified: May 22, 2014
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