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
1 rating

Wednesday - April 28, 2010

From: Saugatuck, MI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Rare or Endangered Plants, Planting, Transplants, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Transplanting trilliums
Answered by: Anne Bossart

QUESTION:

What's the best time to transplant white trillium on my property on the shore of Lake Michigan?

ANSWER:

When my mother dug up a trillium from the woods and planted it her flowerbed at the front of our home, my teenaged siblings and I all scolded her for her "illegal act".  However, like our famous Texas Bluebonnet, Ontario's trillium is protected from picking/digging only by urban myth, not the law.

Trillium grandiflorum (white trillium) is not difficult to propogate by seed but can take a notoriously long time to grow to maturity after germination.  So most of the trilliums you find for sale in nurseries are actually collected from the wild.  

The mission of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is to increase the sustainable use and conservation of native wildflowers, plants and landscapes, so I must encourage you to leave the plant where it is and try to propogate it by seed or rhizome division.  You can find instructions in William Cullina's book , "Wildflowers: A Guide to Growing and Propogating Native Flowers of North America"

That being said, my mother's trillium blooms happily on in her front garden 30 years later.  Be certain you do not damage the plant while digging  and transplant it in mid to late summer, just before it goes dormant.


Trillium grandiflorum
 

More Rare or Endangered Plants Questions

Starting Venus Flytrap From Seed
September 05, 2013 - I am a high school student doing a project on the Venus flytrap and would like you to help me by answering the following questions: What are the Venus flytrap predators and prey? How to raise a Venus ...
view the full question and answer

Endangered species of trillium on disturbed soil in New York
April 19, 2006 - Hello, I live in Rochester New York, near a gully/ravine by woodland. Quite a gem. Anyway here's my question and concern. In the past 35 years there have been trillium in small "pockets" or sing...
view the full question and answer

Information on what Texas wildflowers are disappearing
August 02, 2011 - I was shocked to find that Texas Bluebells were vanishing. What other Texas wildflowers are vanishing? There is an endangered species list but I want to help before my wildflower neighbors before t...
view the full question and answer

Propagation of endangered plant Texas trailing phlox from Carrollton TX
December 26, 2013 - 1. How many seeds does the Texas trailing phlox produce per season? 2. Can the seeds be taken from a living plant without hurting it? Thank You!
view the full question and answer

Storm damage to native sweet bay magnolias in Kentucky
February 04, 2009 - Can you please share information on storm damage to sweet bay magnolias; if the top is broken off can the tree maintain its natural shape or will the sides begin to grow more than the top; i.e., growt...
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.

Bibliography

Wildflowers (2000) Cullina, W. and Cullina B.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center