Monday, April 5, 2010

Trillium

Hay don't pick that blade of grass, that's a Trillium.

One of my favorite plants, I think, is the Trillium. Going to the Mt. Cuba center with their lush under story patches of assorted Trilliums in all their glory is enough to inspire anyone to plant some. The fact the seeds are distributed by ants makes them all the more appealing.

I wanted these in my yard so much in fact that I went ahead and bought them from any old source. I bought them online from what I'm assuming are legitimate sources. You can almost tell by the price but really they should say Nursery Propagated, and you should be paying anywhere from $9.99 to $30.00 each plant.

They take the better half of a decade to flower. And they seriously should be kept out of the hands of newbie gardeners. People who just go to the store and buy whatever without researching why. These are a full shade plant, (though oddly enough I've found one type that tolerates full sun).

Lowes last year was selling these plants in dried out packets for $3 each. When I saw that I thought "Oh My God! I've got to have that!" Before buying though I asked who provided them. One sales person pointed out the back of the label. It read Botanical Wonders.
As far as I can tell they don't have a website. And I don't think they know how to identify Trilliums. There were maybe 12 other types of plants this company was selling there at Lowes. Assuming they are stripping our national forests bare of their native wildflowers they certainly aren't doing that good of a job. Only finding 12? Really?

See I don't know what to make of this. It's a problem with a company that doesn't have a website as far as I can tell or contact info on their packaging. On the other hand there's no way they're only finding 12 species of native plant. Granted Trillium can be tricky to ID a good nursery should know better.

A few theories that might explain this. Trillium in their ideal soil and lighting conditions will divide. Often times the newer Trillium plants will also flower. So you have two adult plants flowering that don't take 2 years to germinate and another 3 to 5 to flower. Fair enough. I've even herd of some people taking 1 inch long root cuttings that will form it's own rhizome. This would be a great method for mass producing plants but it would still take years before they flower.

Whatever the case, they're coming up this year, some are juvenile with only one leaf while others are flowering. I don't think I'll be buying from Botanical Wonders again, but I'm happy I liberated them all the same. A few however seem to have died.

2 comments:

  1. Was googling to try and find Botanical Wonders. Ursula Vernon doesn't like them either, and it's all because of their "this can't be right, it's THAT CHEAP?!" trilliums - http://ursulav.livejournal.com/1438883.html

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  2. That was a nice read. Doesn't look like they ever got back to them though. I'm parted with how I should feel about this company. On the one side this could be looked at as a native plant salvage, on the other it could be a scam. It's impossible to judge this sort of thing without an investigation.

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