Cultivation of Trilliums

L. Michael Hill LHILL at
Sun Mar 26 20:02:14 EST 1995

I am working with a species of Trillium which is found in two main
locations:  at the high elevations of the mountains along the border
of Virginia-West Virginia, and also down on the coastal plain from
Williamsburg to the east coast.

I collected some samples from these two kinds of populations and,
after they died back in the greenhouse, I put them into a cold barn
next to the greenhouse.  Six weeks later I took them out and put them 
back into the greenhouse.  They came back up, but did not bloom.  I
really did not want flowers anyway.  I got leaves and root tips, which
was fine.  This was two years ago.

I repeated this in the next year, and the winter was a rough one.
The outside temperature fell to 15 below one night.  When I moved
them back into the greenhouse, they were all dead.

I am starting over with collections in the next couple of weeks.
Do any of you have suggestions about how I can successsfully 
overwinter these plants?  They will be in a greenhouse until fall.
I do not have a cold house to put them into this time.  Instead, I
thought about putting them into the ground outside of the greenhouse,
and mulching real good.  I want to leave them in the pots.  Does
this sound like a good idea?  If I did this in the fall, I would
still be able to take them out six weeks later if they were in the
pots.  The area next to the greenhouse if fairly well protected, and
should not freeze.  Would you agree that this is a good idea?

Or, would it be best to simply leave them in the greenhouse, perhaps 
away from the sun...under a table or something.

You may email my privately if you prefer.  I have one of the blackest
thumbs you ever saw, and any help from the troops out there would be

Thanks in advance,

L. Michael Hill
Department of Biology
Bridgewater College
Bridgewater, Virginia 22812

email:  lhill at

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