|Trillium kurabayashii blooming in my garden now|
I have three different strains of Trilllium kurabayashii growing in my garden. One is from a number of plants I got more than 10 years ago from Janis Ruksans, a famous bulb grower from Latvia. Ruksans operates a mailorder nursery for bulbs and so when I saw he had these trilliums for sale one year, I ordered 10 of them. They came as divisions and they all grew and did very well. It is somewhat ironic that I had to acquire this native plant all the way from Latvia! Anyway, I have also divided these plants from time to time and so have a large quantity of them in my garden. While they are good plants and have very nice large clear red flowers, the leaves do not have the dark markings which I prize in trilliums. The Ruksans plants are good and vigorous growers, however, and clump up very fast and well.
The second strain of kurabayashiis I have in my garden is from plants I purchased from Heronswood many years ago. These were offered as Trillium kurabayashii and they were flowering size when offered, so I snapped up a few of them. I planted them in a place that has since become too shady and root infested for them to do well, but fortunately I got a number of seedlings from the mother plants, and those seedlings have since matured and flowered. The plant in the picture is one of those seedlings. I now have about 25 of those seedlings in the garden and they have all flowered and done well and, indeed, are producing seedlings of their own. At the time these seedlings were produced I did not have other trilliums in the garden that were flowering, so these seedlings are not the result of any intermarriage of species that I know of.
All of these Heronswood strain of kurabayashiis are beautiful plants. They all have very large flowers of somewhat varying color, from almost black red to a clear dark red. The leaves on all of them have very good dark markings as is evident from the photo above. I would have to rate them as generally more beautiful plants than the Ruksans strain.
The third strain of kurabayashiis in my garden is from Far Reaches Farm. The plants of this strain seem more like the pictures of kurabayashii one sees on the internet. The leaves have very good dark markings, but the plants are not as tall as my other kurabayashiis and the flowers are not as large. I notice that Far Reaches has a good picture of this plant on their website, but they indicate that it is not currently in stock.
To conclude this journey into the wonderful world of trilliums, if I were serious about trilliums, but just starting out, I would try to seek out these best kinds. I would not buy bare root trilliums in bags (most of those do not do well, I have found); I would not buy the straight species of chloropetalum unless I were assured it was a good form with large red flowers (I don't care for other flower colors on trilliums), and I would make sure the plants were not collected from the wild.