En Español

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Friday - August 08, 2008

From: Holtwood, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Propagation
Title: Trillium seed collection
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I am interested in propagating trillium from seeds. When are the seeds ready to be harvested? I removed day lily pods prom the plants and then found out I had picked them too early

ANSWER:

I am not sure which Trillium you are interested in growing. There are nine that are native to Pennsylvania:

Trillium cernuum (whip-poor-will flower)

Trillium cuneatum (little sweet Betsy)

Trillium erectum (red trillium)

Trillium flexipes (nodding wakerobin)

Trillium grandiflorum (white trillium)

Trillium nivale (snow trillium)

Trillium recurvatum (bloody butcher)

Trillium sessile (toadshade)

Trillium undulatum (painted trillium)

If you will read the information under "Propagation" for Trillium grandiflorum (white trillium), it says:

"Seeds mature within 5-6 weeks after the plant flowers. They are ready to collect when they are dark or beginning to darken. Store for short periods only by packing the whole berry in moist sphagnum sealed in a refrigerated container."

This advice should hold true for all Trillium spp. seeds. You want them to be mature before you remove them from the plant. Indeed, that is generally true for all seed collection. Watch the plants and when you see that the berries are beginning to split and release their seed, that is the time to collect.

Tom Clothier's Perennial Seed Germination Database says that Trillium seeds should be sown immediately outdoors since they have short viability.


Trillium cernuum

Trillium cuneatum

Trillium erectum

Trillium flexipes

Trillium sessile

Trillium undulatum

Trillium grandiflorum

 

 

 

More Propagation Questions

Care of recently propagated Century Plant from Litchfield Park AZ
April 24, 2011 - To germinate some century plant seeds I put them in dirt and put the pot in a tray of water. Now, I have 3 sprouts about an inch tall and they came up about an inch apart. Question is, how should I w...
view the full question and answer

Propagation of native American beautyberry in North Carolina
August 31, 2008 - I have found a beauty berry bush growing wild in the woods. It is huge! I broke off a couple of branches (1/4 " in diameter) and wonder if it will root if I just stick it in good moist soil. I alr...
view the full question and answer

Propagation of Kalmia latifolia
November 19, 2007 - How easy is it to propagate Kalmia latifolia from seed?
view the full question and answer

Plants for church gardens in Ft. Worth TX
November 07, 2013 - Second attempt. Our church has many gardens in Fort Worth, TX. There are gardens for blue,red,yellow,white,purple,orange,pink,mixed,community garden,roses, and more. I am interested in the la...
view the full question and answer

Trimming bloom stalks of iris
April 15, 2008 - Mr. Smarty: I live in Nevada, and have some very beautiful Iris plants. They have all blossomed and now I am left with stems. Is there any way I can cut them back so they blossom again? If so how shou...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center