Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

At what age does Possumhaw (Ilex decidua) begin to flower in Pflugerville, TX?
January 13, 2011 - At what age does a female possumhaw (Ilex decidua) usually bloom and set fruit? Or is there a way to identify the female other than by the presence of berries? I grew a number from seed and want to ...
view the full question and answer

Planting Candelilla from Austin
July 12, 2013 - Good Morning and thank you for answering my question!! I am interested in planting a Candelilla plant (it looks like small bamboo plants growing only a 2-3 feet tall. I heard it is supposed to be ver...
view the full question and answer

Propagation and transplanting of Vernonia lindheimeri
April 10, 2007 - I have located a wooly ironweed plant and have taken some seeds to start. This is the only ironweed I have seen. Any suggestions on how to start the seed? Also, if development of the property appea...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting bamboo
July 29, 2008 - To transplant bamboo from one place to another, do you dig the plant up or do you get a cutting, put it in water and then root the plant?
view the full question and answer

Transplanting a redbud in August from St. Louis MO
August 09, 2011 - I have a 4' tall redbud that needs to be transplanted before the end of August because of construction on our house. Can this be done without killing the tree? Can I take a cutting from the tree and ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.