[Trillium-l] North American Trillium Hybrids
garden at pine-ridge.ca
Wed Jan 26 01:32:44 CET 2011
On January 25, 2011, Richard Vagner wrote:
> ..... The thing I recall most about those years was the
> uniformity of T. grandiflorum in both flowers and plant structure.
I do find a certain amount of variation in T. grandiflorum plants in my
area. Most of the T. grandiflorums here, and I'm talking about thousands
of them, have strap-shaped petals. A few have much rounder petals. Another
few have very frilled petals. Some plants are consistently much larger
than the others, too. I know these differences are not huge, but they make
a difference if you are growing these plants in a garden. My large, round-
petaled T. grandiflorum is a much better garden plant than the majority.
>Also the practice of selecting one
> plant as the representative of the taxon and excluding the variation
> gives us problems in not being able to account for the cline from one
> species to another over distance, time of the rate of evolution.
Absolutely. I've been studying the local violets, and with them this is a
huge problem. They vary tremendously, even the same plants from season to
season, so identifying them on the basis of the size of some part of the
plant is just about impossible. You have to study many examples of each
species and get a 'feel' for the variation before you can be confident
that you can recognize the species. I think the same must be true of the
Trilliums. The taxonomists try to create keys, but these can be
misleading. Of course some species are easy, but others can drive the
I purchased some plants over the last few years with names such as
Trillium luteum, T. sessile, T. sessile luteum and T. luteum sessile.
Leaving aside the obvious illiteracy in the last case, the names are still
dubious because as far as I can tell they are all T. luteum. They are all
identical. One other plant labeled T. sessile is definitely T. recurvatum
(quite hardy here in zone 4, btw). Two others plants were helpfully
labeled 'Toadshade Trillium'. I still haven't figured out what they are,
the flowers are small, brownish red, sort of chubby, sessile, and don't
last long. Maybe they'll be better this year and I'll be able to name
Anyway, didn't mean to rant, just agree that one plant at one time does
not a species define.
Lis, Carp Ontario Canada, zone 4
Pine Ridge Studio
Garden blog: www.garden-on-the-ridge.blogspot.ca
More information about the Trillium-l