[Trillium-l] Exporting Trilliums to Uk

Russell Graham eldergrahams at me.com
Fri Jan 23 22:01:05 CET 2015

Thank you for the response Chris,

I keep trying to be aware of Colin's initial request for sources of Trilliums wholesale and certainly the European Union should make importing easier from there than from the US. Finding a source remains the issue... AND what follows relates to the potential to find "true" hybrid Trilliums wholesale. (and is beyond the scope of the subject line...)

On Jan 22, 2015, at 9:04 PM, Chris Wetmore wrote:

> Russ,
> "Controlled efforts" is an interesting way to put it. Now what makes something a controlled effort?

From my perspective that would indicate the "breeder" knows some history of the seed parent and of the pollen parent AND uses some procedures to assure that the intended cross is NOT contaminated in any way.

What I find regarding Trillium hybrids is that the "concept" expressed above is seldom the situation. I find, the plant's parents are unknown or only the seed parent is known OR they are from parentage "thought to be a hybrid" but in most cases the plants "look like" a hybrid and are more likely a variation of natural occurrence. Paul Christian reported making several crosses with no success except for ovatum x rivale but never reported on them blooming.

> Can it be an enthusiast or a university or a nursery operation?

Of course. The one University breeding proposal I am aware of came to naught.

> What are the odds  someone knows about controlled efforts or can read about them online?

With Trillium near zero, with MANY other plants quite high if one has an interest in the plant, from what I have found.

> An enthusiast isn't telling anyone except maybe their circle of friends.

In today's social networked world a circle of friends is pretty unlimited...which might explain the demise of some "special" Trillium populations. I just heard a Trillium presentation and the speaker had been referred to several sites by Fred Case in 2005 and there were NO Trillium left (these happened to be sites in the West...) when the speaker visited the sites.

> A university is hush hush and a prime example is NC State with their Mountain Horticultural & Research Center. Sure NC State will show you the final product in the garden center and they may publish a paper on it but there surely aren't telling anyone what they are doing. By the way they have made some amazing plants. 

VERY intriguing that a state institution is so closed mouthed, don't you think? Or is NC State not public funded? That is not the case in the WEST with public institutions, when they are developing either ornamental OR food crops.

> It is my opinion, that there is more interest and enthusiast hybridizing in Europe with trilliums.

I cannot disagree about the interest in Trillium generally, but I do wonder if any careful hybridizing is taking place at any level. This site is but one example http://www.hughnunn.co.uk/trilliums.asp of a "potential" source of hybrids (simile x flexipes) or are they strains of one or the other of the parents. Some of the nursery selected erectum hybrids shown in pictures in 'The garden' were VERY like plants that used to, and may still, be in the Shenk's Ferry population... BUT, as with the web page listed there is little to no availability retail, let alone wholesale.

> I came to this opinion based on what I have seen at the collector level. 

I assume/suspect what you have seen at the collector level is on the Facebook Trillium page (online). If not will you share? If Facebook is the case, I can assure you there are a number of "other" collector's that have amazing plants that some might consider to be hybrids. For example, there are several outstanding gardens in NZ that have what they consider to be hybrids BUT there is NO history of the origin and few if any deliberate (controlled) crosses being made and they do not share "plants" outside the country. Plus, recent  awarenesses of the HUGE variability in the western sessiles has some of the growers in NZ reconsidering "some" of their thoughts about some of what had been considered a hybrid... In the Pacific Northwest I was made aware, last year, of several albidum x kurabayashii crosses (with little recall about the exact cross by the time the plants bloomed...) that were made with the goal of creating pinks and/or plants with the fragrance of a rose. There were NO pinks so far in the first generation seedlings and "most" were not fragrant of roses as the majority of the seedlings took the characters of kurabayashii, no matter the direction of the cross.

Some collectors do have a good eye AND a passion for acquiring plants but it is unclear to me if "any" are attempting crosses OR have sources with more than a few plants.

> I don't have a fact sheet with charts to prove it.


Again, I want to keep Colin's original request in mind and do not know or disagree about OTHER genera or species or whatever.

> So while I am not saying you are incorrect that there you aren't aware of any "controlled efforts" in trillium hybridizing. But how do you know there isn't any occurring?

I do not know for "certain," I do suspect and hope there is some taking place. 

> Most hybridizers have a goal in mind. They release their plants when they reach that goal or stumble upon a superior plant. This often takes several generations. With trillium after waiting for several generations you may lose the hybridizer before you reach a goal. 

Based on one situation, the Cases, that has already happened...as again, "Best I know" their hybrids never became "available" in any commercial sense. NOT unlike T.g. 'Quicksilver,' , etc.
> What trillium were you wanting to purchase in the UK? Was it not available in the US?

The case in point was T.g. 'Roseum' Edinburgh form, but it could have been "any" double ovatum or grandiflorum other than flora pleana, or rivale 'Purple Heart' (not seedlings thereof) or most any named selection for that matter, or with a few exceptions ANY chloropetalum or other western sessile that is correctly identified, as in my ignorance I am unaware of US sources for any of them...


Russell Graham, Purveyor of Plants, Salem, OR, Zone 8 (7)

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