Trillium Time

The Large-Flowered Trilliums (Trillium grandiflorum) I planted a few years ago are slowly settling in and bulking up. It’s an elegant flower with its three gleaming-white petals.


It seems that the conditions in our back garden meet their requirements: shade, lots of organic matter, and reasonably moist soil.


I bought these Large-Flowered Trilliums on sale at Prairie Nursery about three years ago. They have made a very modest little patch, but even so they give me great satisfaction. Trilliums require a lot of patience, as they are slow to establish and slow to spread.


Meantime, the Prairie Trillium (Trillium recurvatum) we inherited from the last owners reappear reliably every May. They occupy a patch that has stayed pretty much the same size since we moved here 16 years ago.


The dark purple flowers and mottled foliage add a dramatic touch.

These are very special flowers. They will go dormant by summer, but while they are with us they spread a little of the magic of a woodland spring.

30 Comments on “Trillium Time

  1. Trillium grandiflorum is our township flower. I got it changed from purple loosestrife. Unfortunately, the deer love the trillium, the loosestrife, not so much.

  2. Beautiful trilliums, thank you! I enjoy your posts. If you are ever in the Phila area at trillium time, check out the display at Mt. Cuba. Although in Delaware, it is close enough to PA that we visit regularly. It is one of several old Dupont estates. This one dedicated to native plants of the Appalachian piedmont. There are fantastic gardens in our region!

  3. Full disclosure, you would need a car to get to Mt. Cuba and most of of the greater Phila. gardens.

    • We used to visit friends who lived outside of Baltimore and they would drive us around. They retired and moved to Tennessee, though.

  4. The Prairie Trillium in my garden stays the same too. Isn’t that odd??? I chalk mine up to me moving them a couple of times. Those big trilliium are really striking.

  5. Oh yes, they are very special. You have a very nice collection of them there. I can’t take credit for the Trilliums here; they were naturally occurring. No matter how we experience them, however, they are magical.

    • When we lived in Wisconsin there was a wood behind us where white Trillium grew wild. There were also a few in our garden there. Almost made up for the giant Black Walnut.

  6. I’ve not seen the prairie trillium; they’re beautiful. With gardeners and native plant people posting trilliums from all around the country, I got interested, and found that there are native trilium species here in Texas. They’re confined to deep east Texas, and they certainly aren’t common. In fact, some call them rare — but they’re here. I’ve seen photos of them now, but no one who’s found them has spilled the beans on precisely where they are. It’s probably better that way.

    • Probably. Sad to say, but some people will steal anything that isn’t nailed down. If it can be sold for good money, that is.

  7. Trilliums only became available in nurseries a few years ago, and only because Annie’s Annuals started to make them available. I always wondered about their allure. The natives are really not much to look at.

    • Oh, I disagree with your there, especially about T. grandiflorum. It’s a gleaming white and the shape is quite unique.

      • None of the pretty ones are native here though. We can only rely on exotic species for pretty trillium.

  8. Wow Jason, I’ve very jealous of your trilliums! I want to have lots of them in the garden too but they have a reputation for being difficult to establish and slow to grow which has put me off. I’ve not seen them being sold often too. I’ll enjoy your patches of trillium magic in the mean time.

  9. Lovely! We had some trilliums in our last house and it was always such a treat when they bloomed each year.

    • I got the white ones in part because they were for sale at Prairie Nursery. Maybe you’ll decide to plant some in your garden some day.

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