The trillium ovatums have finished blooming in nearby Madrona Woods. That’s one of the signs that spring has firmly taken hold and the bonds of winter are broken. Unfortunately, local development has driven the trillium habitat far back into the Cascades and you rarely see it within the city. It’s a delicate plant to grow from seed. But once it takes hold it knows how to hold its own. One local neighbor has made it a project to grow seedlings every year and distribute them to folks who’ll try to bring it back in their home gardens.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have much success growing it from seedlings. But I did succeed with these plants which I bought at Florabundance, the wonderful annual Washington Park Arboretum plant sale. After two years of cultivation in my garden they are starting to propagate themselves nicely and I should get a nice patch of trillium each year.
When I first saw this plant while hiking in the Cascades I was confused by seeing what seemed like two varieties, one with a white flower and one with a pinkish one. In fact, when it first blooms the flower is white and as it ages it gains pink-purple blotches. Trillium ovatum is one of the truly lovely Northwest natives.
Trilliums are my favorite NW native plant. I also love berried natives for form and function. Saw an article on the Top Ten Edible Northwest Native berries http://sn.im/p9yps The company mentioned had a display garden at the Energy Trust Better Living Show in Portland http://www.betterlivingshow.org featuring most of those plants. We should always think of planting northwest natives first when gardening.
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