Contributed by Ginny Oakes

On March 30, 2018

An upright american

This plant brings us to Number 24 and takes us to the west coast of the US. Trillium kurabayashii, whose common name is giant purple wakerobin, is native to Northern California and Southern Oregon, where it grows in rich moist soils with deep humus, near the coast. From the name one might assume it was from Japan, however, it was named for Trillium cytologist Masataka Kurabayashi, in 1975 by botanist J.D. Freeman.

It is a clump-forming perennial, up to 60cm tall, and has dark red sessile flowers, with three upright petals up to 10cm long, above large leaves, up to 20cm long, mottled with purple and silver. Both the flower colour and mottling are very variable depending on the source of the seed from which they are grown. It flowers throughout April and May.

One reference I found said that, although they are long lived, they only increase slowly from bulb division or seed, can be slow to establish and will take time before producing of their best.

Despite all this, and the fact that you need a deep rich soil and plenty of moisture, some of our members manage to grow this amazing plant and have come to value it highly. It has become a must-have feature of their gardens.

Trillium kurabayashii by Maja Dumat is licensed under CC BY 2.0



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