Friday, May 10, 2013

Hybrid Trilliums

Trillium grandiflorum var. roseum

Hybrid Trilliums

   I really like wildflowers and have done lots of wildflower looking over the years.
Once in awhile I'd notice a type of trillium that stood out and was different from the rest.
Sometimes it would be a few in an area. Other times it was a single specimen.  I began to ask around and read and learned that there is a fair amount of funny business in the mating game for trilliums.  They come up with some interesting offspring now and then!

    I finally broke down and purchased a copy of the book Trilliums authored by Fred &
Roberta Case.  It is an excellent and authoritative book on the subject.   I did not expect it would ever help me solve the mystery of some of the types of hybrids I'd encountered. It did in at least one instance! 

Seen above is a trillium hybrid I found near Derrick Knob along the Appalachian Trail.
I knew it was a mix, but I now know this trillium is a hybrid of Trillium flexipes ..the Bent Trillium and Trillium erectum.. the Wake Robin. It has produced a picotee pattern.
Very pretty.  What is more.... it was not the only one!

Swarm of hybrids of the same sort! I found a total of five plants all producing the same pattern!  I am keen to get back up to Derrick Knob to see if these produce the same sort of pattern year after year?  I also want to look about for Trillium flexipes to see if the parents are in the vicinity?

Hybrid trillium found back in Mill Creek in the Smoky Mountains.  It was a singleton.
No others around. I guessed it was a blending between the red and white forms of T. erectum.  I don't really know except to say its a mix and it is very pretty.
It did not produce this pattern on a subsequent trip.

The trillium hybrid seen here was located on Max Patch near the A.T.
It is particularly beautiful. I do not know what the parents were.
I liked the pattern and the unique colors.  It has cream, green and maroon!
I have not made a repeat trip back to see if this one reproduces the same pattern

The hybrid trillium pictured above is one of my all time favorites. It is absolute perfection in its markings and the subtlety of its tones.  Pale cream and pinks, deeper maroons.
I found this growing at a roadside pull off in the Great Smoky Mountains. It is another I need to go back to study and see if it reproduces a consistent color pattern. I hope so!

Interestingly enough I found the parents of this baby right by it. It is a product of
red and white wakerobin.. T. erectum.

White Trillium erectum parent

Red T. erectum parent

The above trillium is a hybrid found at Maryville College Woods. It is a product of
T. cuneatum's bronze form and T. luteum. It has reproduced the same color and pattern for a couple years, but the coloration is not always as bold from one year to the next.
There were other hybrids in the colony but this plant is the most noteworthy.

Candy striped Trillium grandiflorum. Seen this year at Tackett Creek, Campbell County,
Tennessee. There were a number of these in the colony with exactly the same pattern.
I believe it to be the hybrid between two parent plants. T. grandiflorum and T. grandiflorum var. roseum. All were seen in the same colony.

It appears they've had some beautiful mixed offspring!  It will be interesting to go back to see if they produce the same mixed patterns next season!

      Trilliums by Fred & Roberta Case

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely gorgeous, trilliums are my all time favorite wildflower.


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