Typically, I wouldn’t cut a native trillium for a vase, but the Trillium cuneatum below (commonly called Sweet Betsy, or sometimes Purple Toadshade) was collected for entry into the horticulture division of a recent flower show and, I’m happy to say, won first place in the bulb/corm/rhizome/tuber class. Though its foliage is not quite as turgid as it would be in the field, I’ve loved having the bloom on my windowsill and thought you would enjoy a look too.
This native plant is common across the Upstate in moist woodlands with calcium-rich soils derived from limestone. On particularly favorable sites, thousands of plants can carpet the forest floor. Since removing English ivy and other invasive species from our woodland garden over the past five years, the trillium has begun to make a strong comeback. The area pictured below has nearly 60 blooming plants plus many immature specimens.
Surprisingly, we have not had a frost in Greenville in more than four weeks, but the forecast for tonight calls for a low of 34 degrees F. Though these trilliums will be fine if there is frost, tender plants which have bloomed or leafed out ahead of schedule, such as azaleas and hydrangeas, might suffer.
To see what other gardeners are offering in a vase today, visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.
What a beautiful native and congratulations on winning first prize!
Eliza–They are so common here, but it is still a thrill to see them each spring.
We have mostly the red wake-robins in our area, although some places the white are around. I bought a yellow one with mottled leaves (like yours), but it hasn’t increased at all that I can tell. Trilliums are great additions to the shade garden.
What an amazing display of Trillium you haveJ
Congratulations on your âwinâ!
Linda–They have spread very quickly now that the ivy is gone. Other things are popping up too, which really makes the extra effort worthwhile.
The carpet of Trillium is beautiful Marian, makes all the hard work clearing well worth it. Congratulations on your win too!
Julie–You are right! It’s such a shame that some, mostly non-gardeners, plant ivy as a ground cover and then make no attempt to control it. It grows throughout the woodlands in our urban areas where it has overrun its garden boundaries.
Well done! Trilliums are such exotic plants.
Susan–Yes, they are in their heyday right now, but will be gone again soon.
So very special, Marian.
Trillium are so very elegant and beautiful. Congratulations on your winning entry. Enjoy!
Frogend–Sweet Betsy is the most common, but we have many other species of trillium too. I hope to fit in a hike or two in the next weeks, but the upcoming schedule doesn’t look very promising.
These look different from the ones I have seen further north. The leaves and flowers seem bigger. A beautiful plant.
Automatic–The stem is about 10-inches tall, but I’ve trimmed the end a few times. The bloom is just over 3 inches. It really is a lovely plant. Sometimes, the flowers are yellow.
I have never seen so many trilliums in one place! Absolutely stunning!! We are also expecting 34 degrees tonight. Worried about my hydrangeas 😕
Sharon–I think we made it through the night okay! It’s 37 F here at 6 a.m. I’m ready for the sun to come up!
Congratulations. Lovely photo. I had no idea the leaves were so large.
Mimi–Yes, nice fat leaves! Hope your snow is gone.
It is. Beautiful spring weather here…all the flowering trees in bloom!
Absolutely beautiful, well done on winning first prize! Lovely to see them growing as they should in your woodland.
Pauline–Well, I have to admit there wasn’t much competition in the class, but it really is a thing of beauty. I’m changing the water everyday and I think it will last a good while.
Congratulations on your first place; it is a lovely plant.
Your Sweet Betsy looks lovely in the vase. Great to see they’re making a come-back. My husband and I visited the NC Botanical Garden this morning to check on the trilliums. Saw a few Sweet Betsy and one twisted trillium–still not many open yet.
Well done! The floor of Trillium look fabulous, such an exotic looking plant.
Thanks you for sharing your prize winning trillium with us, Marian. As others have said, the naturalised clump of them look gorgeous too
I would love to have trilliums pop up in my garden but unless I plant them I can file that notion under Ain’t Gonna Happen. But lucky you to have so many! They’re beauties. 🙂
How did you remove the english ivy and other invasives? Based on the few trillium, bloodroot, and sweet shrub that have managed to find their way out of the ivy, vinca, and liriope in our backyard, I believe more natives lay in wait if I could only clear their way!
Mary–We pulled the ivy, using a hooked stick in the left hand to pull the ivy forward and a michete in the right to break the roots free of the soil. Then, just pile it up and gather later. After a soaking rain is best. Each spring, I walk through the garden to find any small bits that have popped up.