Trillium Plea

Trillium photo by Russel Graham

Trillium photo by Russel Graham

Is Trillium a neglected California native coveted abroad and deserving more attention at home or a multifaceted research subject? The taxonomy is unsettled for sure, propagation protocols are sketchy, nursery suppliers are easier to find in Europe, the UK, Oregon, Washington, and Canada than in California, botanic garden displays are bigger and perhaps more complete in Scotland and England, gardeners in New Zealand and other parts of the world grow more trilliums than Californians, and the market economics are distorted, while native habitat is disappearing.

Trilliums, all parts in multiples of three, are much admired by wildflower enthusiasts and considered harbingers of spring in their native distributions and in gardens nearly worldwide, whether “Toadshade” (sessile types) or “Wake robins” (pedicled types). Despite significant variation in flower shape, size, leaf appearance, fragrance, and petal color, most folks know the California Trilliums as either white or maroon and may not realize there are 5 different species (with 2 or more yet to be “published”?), again depending on the key, flora, or plant list used. But, what about the pinks, reds and yellows; are they hybrids or just species variation?

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Napa Native Plant Garden

Kathleen Chasey

Kathleen Chasey (Credit: Napa Valley Register)

Some of us came to California for the cheese. Some of us will visit Napa for its lovely native garden. Those of you who know me know I am totally serious.

This gem of a native garden is made possible by dedicated CNPS volunteers like Kathleen Chasey. When Gandhi said, Be the change you wish to see in the world, Chasey was paying attention. I find it inspiring to read stories like this where people make things happen with their own two hands. Read all about it, and visit, and when you return, imagine what is possible in your own town or neighborhood.

http://tinyurl.com/2e9z4zm

 

Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden

On March 12, I had the pleasure of visiting the premier native botanic garden in the Los Angeles area, on a beautiful sunny day.  The nearby snow-capped peaks were framed by large trees and flowering shrubs.

Many gardening ideas jumped out from all corners of the garden.  The container garden exhibit included this great hybrid Monkeyflower spilling out of a very large pot.

Mimulus 'Ruby Silver' (Hybrid Monkeyflower), Photo by Laura Camp at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden

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