En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
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

Propagation of Mexican buckeye from seeds in San Antonio
October 02, 2009 - I recently collected seeds from a Mexican buckeye. Is it best to plant them now or wait until spring? Do they need to be scarified?
view the full question and answer

Reseeding with Gulf cordgrass, Spartina spartinae
May 23, 2007 - Are the seeds of Spartina spartinae sterile? If not, when is the best time to harvest for replanting? We are involved in the restoration of the Bahia Grande section of the Laguna Atascosa National Wi...
view the full question and answer

Making cuttings from purple sage in Austin, TX.
May 15, 2012 - I would like to plant additional purple sage for landscaping. May I do this with cuttings from an existing adult plant? If so, how and when would be the best method? I live in Lago Vista, TX
view the full question and answer

Propagation of yellow columbine
November 03, 2004 - I purchased a yellow columbine, Aquilegia chrysantha and your website says it grows in moist upland soils, and yet it shows their habitat as Utah, Arizona, NM, and sw Texas. Tell me how it can...
view the full question and answer

Ideas for first-time gardener in Chicago
December 01, 2008 - I am a first time gardener, so I know very little about planting. I live in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. Can you give me some flower ideas that I can plant that are easy to maintain? I don't ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center