Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Wildflower Wednesday -- Trillium, Shooting star, Vanilla Leaf, and Vine Maple

I realized a couple of days ago that the Vanilla Leaf (Achlys triphylla) that I planted last Fall has survived the winter and returned.


The leaves right now are quite small and delicate, but as the plant matures, it will start to produce much bigger leaves. They have such an interesting three-part leaf. This wonderful shade plant is a Pacific Northwest native, and will eventually produce a white flower spike.

My white shooting star (Dodecatheon hendersonii), bought at one of the many plant sales that I've gone to this Spring, has started flowering.

Henderson's shooting star is another native shade perennial, that grows about 12 to 18 inches high. I love the extreme recurved petals.
I didn't realize when I bought Trillium ovatum, a Pacific Northwest native Trillium, that the flowers age from white to magenta pink.



There aren't any flowers yet on my vine maples (I have several), but the emerging leaves have such interesting pleating.





Technically not a wildflower, vine maple (Acer circinatum) is one of my favorite Pacific Northwest natives. This small tree, which grows up to 25 feet high, does well in the shade. I have it planted beneath the Douglas firs that tower over my back garden, where it gets shade for most of the day, and then late afternoon sun.  It is also wildlife-friendly, providing nesting and cover for birds, and seeds for birds and small mammals. And it has great Fall color.

I got mine last year from the Pierce County Conservation sale. It is only quite recently that nurseries have started to carry varieties of vine maple. Most of mine are the species, but I do have one named variety, called Pacific Fire, which has red stems and bright yellow foliage.

Check out the blog clay and limestone, for more posts about wildflowers. Rather than just one post on Wednesday, Gail is posting about wildflowers all week.

13 comments:

  1. Your garden is starting to give you so much pleasure after the lengthy winter months. It's so good to be able to share in it all with you...thank you! Super pictures...the 'aging' trillium flower is gorgeous and I love the pleated detail you've captured so beautifully on the emerging leaves of your vine maple. It sounds like a wonderful plant to have. I've never seen a shooting star...what a lovely little flower!

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  2. Alison,
    Enjoyed the trillium photos. Reminds me of trips to the NC mountains where they could be found in mass everywhere. Not such great growers here in the hot Piedmont.

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  3. I really need to get some Trillium.

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  4. I didn't know that Trillium changed color as it aged. I'm still waiting for the one I bought at the plant sale to bloom. The one I thought I had killed just came up this week, so now I have two. I love vine maples, their leaves do look neat as they unfold.

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  5. That is a fine trillium. What a series of gifts from one plant~ a dazzling color display. I don't know vine maple~But each time a wildflower/native plant enthusiast shares one of their natives~I get to learn more! So glad you joined today. gail

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  6. I have only seen Trillium in the forests in Michigan and I did not know they changed color either as they aged.
    I like your name idea for the statue...Odd bodkins might be a keeper, thanks!

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  7. Beautiful flowers! I have a vine maple too and love the interesting way the leaves unfold.

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  8. The Trillium's that grow in the woods around here are always a beautiful sight in the spring. But I am loving your pink blooming one. How pretty!

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  9. Those Shooting Stars are pretty plants, I keep meaning to add some every year. Nice post. :)

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  10. I love the change trillums go through. You have some wonderful species in your wildflower garden.

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  11. Alison, love those trillium and it is fun to see them change color. Can it be that we are going to finally get some sunshine and warmth to go along. 70 they say, tomorrow. ;)

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  13. How cool to see that trillium change colors! The one I got from a friend is not doing well, because it didn't get watered enough when the weather turned hot, and may be in a bit too much sun. It's on the east side of the house. I just looked out the window. The blooms are gone, and there is brown on the edges of the leaves. Maybe it is just going to go dormant. I hope it comes back in the fall.

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