Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Beauty in Small Things

The Huntsville Botanical Garden has designed a new trillium garden, complete with a trillium propogation center. They have created an area strictly for trilliums nestled deep within their woodland nature area. Stumbling upon it was a delight. A few were blooming, so I'm sharing them with you all.

The trilliums of my childhood were the common woodland variety. I confess that though I love them I'm not up-to-speed on identification. Naturally, I Googled "trillium" and found a plethora of information and a gazillion photos which served only to confuse while at the same time making me giddy with all the varieties out there.

I can share some discovered facts: "Since Trilliums may take years to produce seeds and they can not survive exposure to full sunlight and so are killed by clear cutting, plus the fact that they were harvested for medical uses by Native Americans and white herbalist alike, it is a wonder that any of the plants survive. While many species are quite rare others are fairly common in rich woods that have never been cleared. Deer will sometimes browse the leaves leaving a stand of stems." (www.2bnthewild.com/plants/H37.htm)

Their subtle beauty is the appeal to me. Subtle shades of green on meaty textured leaves, with glorious spikes of rust, yellow, white and reds...even some pinks. They practically beg you to get down on their level, as some of the blossoms occur underneath their leaves. Mass plantings of these will stop a passerby in their tracks.

Some identification was possible. Above is a Yellow Wakerobin, which can reach 12" in height. I LOVE that name "Wakerobin!"

The above is a Trailing Wakerobin, which hugs the ground not rising above the earth more than 4".

Trilliums grow slowly. According to several sites, many trillium species are on the endangered list due to overpopulation of deer, which love grazing on their leaves. I read that it can take up to 20 years for a trillium plant to get established and bloom. Thank you, Huntsville Botanical Garden and other organizations and sites for helping preserve these precious flowers.


Karen Hall said...

What a lovely post.
I adore trilliums - so it was lovely to see your pictures - I wish I had been there with you to see them in the flesh - or rather leaf and flower.
An Artist's Garden

Threadspider said...

They are such delightful flowers and I'm so glad you shared them. I have yet to see one wild, but one day..

Lisa at Greenbow said...

There are trilliums here I have never seen. We have three kinds of trillium in our area. Nodding, Prairie and I can't remember the other name. I have one of them in my garden. I can't remember if it is the Prairie or the one i can't remember. Hmmmm Something wrong with the brain today.

Daniel Spurgeon said...

Hi Debi, thanks for the interesting post on Trilliums. Until we move into our new home- I had only seen one Trillium in the wild- but now in our new backyard (2.5 acres of woodland by Cypress Creek- there are literally 100's of Trillium plants growing- at least two species- including one GIANT species which I am trying to determine. I was pleasantly surprised to see them growing here so bountifully. :) Thanks again for the post!

Anonymous said...

gorgeous photos and I've always thought I'd love to have trilliums if I lived in a warmer climate. What lovely foliage and such delicate flowers.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful photos of these lovely little plants!

Blessing Counter said...

Love these photos -- but where are you? I need some new ones, I love to see what you and your amazing eye sees with that camera! Love you!

My Chutney Garden said...

What a gorgeous post. Thank you. I am ashamed to say, I did not know what a trillium was and now I do. They are such sweet little things. Now I am going to research them to see if they will grow in my hot, humid climate,
Thanks for sharing. I think I've told you before but will tell you again- you have the coolest blog name!!!


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