White Trilliums have been a focus here for the 27 years that we have owned this land. Their naturally occurring numbers have been extremely limited and we yearly add additional purchased plants with somewhat disappointing success. We have encountered photos and written words focused on Painted Trilliums but have never seen them in the wild nor in stock at nearby native plant businesses. Four or five years ago we stumbled upon a Tennessee based mail order dealer that offered this plant for sale at a somewhat reasonable price. Six plants were Fall ordered since overwintering new transplants gives them the best chance of survival. The photo shows that exactly half of the plants remain alive. That is close to our success rate for the more commonly seen native whites.
The year following transplanting did not show any signs of growth. A phone call to the dealer revealed a no show was a common experience and that I should give them another year. He promised replacement if nothing appeared during their second season here. I was certain that I was being hustled but accepted his promise. This place of business remains in operation but will now not ship to New York State. I expect that the issue is sales tax not my struggle with his plants. So the present appearance of four plants will hold my attention for as long as we remain on this land.
The lesson learned is the pace of growth among many wild native plants. Seven years is often listed as the time required from planting seed to seeing a flower. Our transplants may open their buds this year just slightly faster than a plant grown from seed. Deer dancing among our native plants may have diminished the number viable plants so a wire cage now protects these highly prized plants. If flowers occur here, that should happen soon. We may see White, Stinking Benjamin and Painted Trillium flowers fairly close together in our woodland garden this year. With a little luck today's warm rain will speed the process along. We are watching in breathless anticipation!