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trilliums, woodland flowers, ephemerals

Each spring, the Trillium cuneatum rises from my woodland garden floor in camouflage colors and whispers that spring is here. It will quietly disappear a few weeks later and cause me a bit of concern. Will it return next year? I feel honored it has chosen to survive in the dry shade of my back yard. It seems so Appalachian to be growing in the Deep South! Little Sweet Betsy is an appropriate name. It causes me to slow down and appreciate the beauty of nature with quiet reflection.

Flower gardens are created and planted according to the will of the designer, but there are some plants that can’t/won’t be forced into an artificial design. Spring ephemerals are like that. They typically don’t like to be moved or bothered. If you have them, respect their location and work with their whims. Digging them up to transplant will probably kill them. Native spring ephemerals can never be used as part of a large-scale landscape project. Their place is with knowledgeable native plant gardeners, botanical gardens, and as protected volunteers in your landscape. They are special because they can’t be tamed.

Purchasing woodland ephemerals should be done with care. There are people who collect these treasures illegally, sometimes by poaching them from public parks. Do some research. Find out how the plants were propagated, and only purchase them from legitimate sources. 

Purchasing woodland ephemerals should be done with discernment. There are people who collect these treasures illegally, so do some research about how the plants were propagated before purchasing them from legitimate sources. 

The Magic of Trilliums