Snow Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum)

Snow Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum) - Garden Basics - Flower - Perennial

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Plant InformationType: perennial
Propagation: rhizomes
Light: full to part shade
Flower Color: white, pink
Bloom Time: spring
Height: 1 foot
Width: 8 inches
Soil Requirements: neutral pH, moist, rich
Zones: 4-9
Uses: wildflower, naturalizer, shade, border

Snow trillium grows best in open shade. The attractive white flowers bloom in the spring and last up to a month. The plant's habit of growth also makes it useful as a ground cover in the shade garden--it spreads on creeping underground stems, or rhizomes, sending up dense clumps of foliage. The name trillium refers to the plant's structure, which is made up of threes: three petals, three sepals, three leaves. The latter are pointed ovals with indented veins, riding high on the stem, just below the single flower. In the fall, each flower produces a berry-like fruit.

Snow trillium bears 3- to 5-inch-wide flowers on stems 8 to 16 inches tall. The flowers are white or white tinged with pink, the white ones fading to pink, then to rose. The stamen is lemon-yellow. Some varieties have double flowers. The leaves are 2 1/2 to 6 inches long and a clear deep green; the fruit is blue-black. Do not cut the leaves, as they provide the plant with nourishment for the following year. Enjoy the flowers in your garden; due to their short stems, they should not be picked, because you must take the leaves to pick the flower. Each rhizome may send up as many as eight flower-bearing stems.

HOW TO GROW. Easy to grow, this long-lived this perennial will eventually form a low-growing colony. Trilliums are hardy in Zones 3-8 and thrive in a moist, humus-rich soil of neutral pH. Plant in the fall, setting the rhizomes 2 to 4 inches deep with the eyes facing upward and spacing the plants 5 to 8 inches apart. Protect plants from cold and enrich the soil by adding a mulch of leaf mold or compost each winter. Propagate from seeds separated from the pulp and sown as soon as they ripen in the fall; they may take two years to germinate and another two years to bloom.

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