Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Inside Scoop on My "Garden Bed Trillium"

My husband enjoys working with prairie restoration, woodland planting and management, wildlife food plots, etc. on our few acres of land located several minutes' driving time from home.

Anyway, during the early Spring of 2007, I dug a couple of trillium there and brought them to our backyard woodland. (We didn't have any out there!)I found one especially interesting plant and put it in my backyard Center Garden. This mutant trillium sported five leaves and five petals on its flower!

I was determined to watch it grow the next Spring... to see if it remained a five-leafed trillium.

This was taken 4/17/08
Note: Four Leaves!

Already on 4/29/08, the appearance has changed somewhat.
This photo was taken this year (4/19/09)
of the same little plant...
Three Leaves!!
Getting a little taller...
(4/23/09)

And, as before, the appearance changed
as the blossom appeared.
(photo taken 5/04/09)
Oh! How I wish I'd taken a photo of the five-leaved plant! I cannot understand why I didn't. Perhaps I'll yet run across it, but for now - please take my word for it.

And what is your opinion as to whether this plant will remain three-leaved from now on, or follow what seems to be a pattern and return next year with only two leaves??

:-) Could be a "Shady Subject!"

24 comments:

gardenerprogress/Catherine said...

I hope it keeps at least three, otherwise in two years you'll only have one leaf :) I really like trillium, I guess I better add them to my wish list too!

Rosemary said...

Never understand why plants change. Trillums are difficult when moved.

Sande said...

I have no opinion except to say that it's nice that it survived and hopefully will spread. It's very pretty!

Gail said...

I haven't any idea, Shady, but it is a beauty of a trillium! I have had pretty good luck transplanting them from a wild patch in the wayback backyard at my house. gailde

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

I've nver heard of a trillium having five leaves! That's a nice one, with the mottled leaves and red flower. I have one single white trillium in my shady bed; I have no idea where I got it. I didn't buy it and I didn't dig it up in nature as trillium are a protected wildflower in Michigan. I'm going to have to guess I got it at a plant swap, where I can trace most of my mystery plants back to!

catmint said...

when I was a child I was always looking for 4 leaved clovers - is this similar?

Shady Gardener said...

Catherine, I've had fun with this particular trillium! The other I brought home has a "child" this Spring. Hopefully it's only the beginning of what will become a colony. There are many more varieties of trillium than I'd realized, too! Yes, you should get one. :-)

Hi Rosemary, You can see that I moved a few Dutchman's Breeches when I moved the trillium. They are increasing in number, too (!). Are you speaking from experience with the moving of trillium?

Hi Sande, Brrr! Thanks for visiting. As I glance at your photo, I think you Needed a trip to Iowa. It's very "balmy" today! :-)

Hi Gail, I'm just thrilled it has returned. As I commented above, the other trillium not only returned again this year but brought along a "child." ;-) Yea!

Monica, I know wildflowers are protected. But, I justified the move of a couple with the thought that I'm moving them to another woodland to explore! :-) My Aunt MEA has a trillium with large soft leaves and a white flower.

Catmint, I think this is an anomaly, in that it was an absolute surprise to find a plant like it. I've had some fun with it, though! :-) I also enjoyed finding four leafed clovers when I was young! :-)

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

How very strange. I wonder if it wasn't something in its environment that caused the multiple leaves. It'll probably be the standard 3-leaf from now on. There are loads of those T. sessiles in the wooded areas around here. I can't understand why I can't get them to grow in my garden. I've managed to get 1 T. grandiflorum to return & bloom.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I think it must have been a fluke to have only two leaves. It sure is pretty no matter what. I like the sequence of photos shown.

Frances said...

Hi Shady, that is certainly a mystery. I think it is perfectly okay to dig plants from one's own property or a friend's willing to allow it, especially if there will be construction that will demolish the plantings anyway. I know that is not how the law reads, but it makes more sense to think it will be protected in your garden and maybe spread rather than destroyed.
Frances

Phoenix C. said...

How unusual! It does look lovely. Maybe you could look where you dug it up and see if there are any more with five leaves. When I was at school, my friends and I found a whole patch of four-leaved clovers!

Shady Gardener said...

MMD, I should surely think, that if anyone could get anything to grow, it would be You when it comes to trillium! Who knows... maybe it's special woodland soil??

Hi Lisa, It is a good conversation piece, right? ;-) Thanks for stopping by!

Frances, That's certainly how I look at it. And I'm hopeful it spreads! Nothing too "shady" about the subject, though! ha.

Phoenix, Now that's an idea. We are going to head out there on Saturday with our daughter, son-in-law and their two (my grand-) children! We'll actually be looking for morel mushrooms, but looking for those 5-leaved trillium would be fun, too. :-)

Kathleen said...

That is very interesting Shady Gardener. I hope it doesn't continue the pattern. Three leaves is what the name implies, right?? I guess I never knew they had more than that. You have a rare plant there!

Shady Gardener said...

Kathleen, Here's an interesting thought: It has now reverted to what it's supposed to be. Except for the fact that I Found it when it had an odd moment, it might never have been discovered... and no one would have been the wiser.

Is that the same as the "Does a tree falling in the woods make a sound if no one is there to hear it?" inquiry?

I think it's time to go to bed. I'm thinking too hard about this! ha!

Patsi 'Garden Endeavors' said...

How wonderful that your husband works with the prairie restoration.
Sounds like you have a keeper !

Shady Gardener said...

Patsi, It really keeps him busy, but he enjoys it completely. :-) We're heading out tomorrow to look for morel mushrooms with our grandchildren and their parents. ;-)

jodi (bloomingwriter) said...

That's really cool. I've never had trillium appear with more than three leaves, so I'm mystified (and delighted) on your behalf too.

Darla said...

Just learning about Trilliums, I like them.

Shady Gardener said...

Hi Jodi, It's been fun. And I'm actually glad it's returned to "normal." :-)

Darla, This is just one interesting variety of trillium.

troutbirder said...

Its a mystery allright. There must be several types of wild trilliums as the ones in the woods here are very different from the ones I brought back from the Upper St. Croix.

Shady Gardener said...

Troutbirder, If you google 'trillium,' you will find quite a number of varieties. Do you have the wide leafed, white blooming variety? This is what is found in Northern Iowa, I think. My aunt has this variety. I shared mine with her last summer. What do your new ones look like??

Kylee said...

I thought I'd left a comment here before, because I read about your mutant trillium (LOL), but I don't see it!

I LOVE wildflowers and find this incredibly interesting!

Shady Gardener said...

Hi Kylee, Perhaps I should have had it wear a little black mask? ha! I know you love wildflowers, and I appreciate your visiting anytime! :-)

Avis said...

You've got it going on outside and inside. I love the dianthus and your unnamed violet. I have African violets inside on my windowsill, but I like the look of yours. Cheers!