Trillium germination

56 posts / 0 new
Last post
Tim Ingram
Title: Member
Joined: 2011-04-27

Has anyone had any luck getting good seed on Trillium luteum? I have grown this for years and never had seed and assumed that more than one clone is necessary. T. kurabayashii (and also chloropetalum) do seem to produce seed on single plants, and I have also found that the former germinates very well and quickly from freshly collected seed. I have always removed the elaiosome either with a sharp knife (slow and finicky) or by soaking with dilute hydrogen peroxide as described in the Case's book. This works very well. These plants attract the attention of visitors more than any others when we have our garden open in the spring, so it's good to know that more nurserymen are raising them from seed and are prepared to grow them on in pots for sale despite the time factor.

Dr. Timothy John Ingram
Faversham, Kent, UK
I garden in a relatively hot and dry region (for the UK!), with an annual rainfall of around 25", winter lows of -10°C and summer highs of 30°C.

Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

After four years of flowering with no seed production, my one T. luteum produced very plump seed capsules in 2010.  Being my first experience with any trillium I cared to collect seed from, I waited for maturity with anticipation.  Alas, as is probably the first experience with every novice trillium seed collector, "disaster" hit.  Through a small hole in the side of the capsule, every single seed was remove, presumably by ants.  :'(

2011 was a terrible year for pollination of many plants in my area, even my own crosses.  There was no seed production on T. luteum.

Regarding pollination, I do have a Trillium sessile growing 6ft away, but would such a hybrid produce such an abundance of seed?

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

AmyO's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-06

RickR wrote:

Jan had posted her generous offer in October.  But alas, we have exhausted her supply. 
Check next year, she says:

There are also selections in the NARGS seed ex. :)

Dang!!! Well I'll have to keep my eyes open next year! And I did order a bunch from the here's hoping I get my first choices! :rolleyes:

Amy Olmsted
Hubbardton, VT, Zone 4

Madgardener's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-10-30

I have been growing Trillium kurabayashii from seed for many years.  I harvest the seed as soon as the pods lose their firm feeling, if left until soft the wasps and ants take them.
I usually sow straight away, early July this year and having checked the pots today I found they had all germinated.  The pots are left uncovered and open to the weather.
My original seed came from Phil & Gwen Phillips & produced extremely dark plants with wonderful leaf markings.  Last years seedlings flowered & produced dark, deep red, dark & light pink & even white seedlings.  Are these colour forms found in the wild?


bulborum's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-02-01



Facebook Group:
Normal Zone <8   -7°C _ -12°C      10 F to +20 F
RGB or RBGG means: Roland and Gemma de Boer

Allison's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2010-04-08

They're all beautiful! Wow!

Gardening on a wooded rocky ridge in the Ottawa Valley, Canada. Cold winters (-30C) and hot, humid summers. Nuts about native plants, ferns, pottery, my family, and Border Collies.

Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

Quite spectacular, Madgardener!  Now I am really excited. ;D

And somehow I had the idea that this species was an obscure one.
Certainly not, and rightly so!

So nice of you to make your debut on this forum with such beauty.
--- Welcome!

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Saori's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2010-10-10

Madgardener wrote:

Last years seedlings flowered & produced dark, deep red, dark & light pink & even white seedlings.  Are these colour forms found in the wild?

Mike, those are healthy-looking, beautiful plants! I would love to see your white seedlings!

From the beautiful Pacific Northwest, USA,
where summer is mild and dry but winter is dark and very wet... USDA Zone 7b or 8 (depends on the year)


Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

Wow indeed Madgardener (Mike), the near-black flowers on some of your Trillium kurabayashii are truly outstanding, I have never seen such dark flowers on a Trillium (great foliage too).  Welcome to the forum, you've made quite a splash starting out with such delectable Trillium color forms.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at

Lockwood's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2010-01-18

Hello Mike,

Typical flower color of Trillium kurabayashii is a very dark-purple red (burgundy) Trillium kurabayashii forma kurabayashii.  Sometimes, flower color is so deep as to appear black and yours would definitely be considered black (absolutely gorgeous!). There is also Trillium kurabayashii forma luteum which is yellow.

If you have T. kurabayashii which are white, pink or other colors they are more likely to be Trillium chloropetalum or a hybrid.


Greetings from SW Washington The Evergreen State
USDA Zone 8b −9.4 °C (15 °F) -6.7 °C (20 °F)
Heat Zone 4 15-30 days exceeding 30°C(86°F)


Log in or register to post comments