Alpine Garden Society

Ulster Group

Plant of the Month, May 2014
 Trillium chloropetalum 'Bob Gordon'  - by Billy Moore
Trillium chloropetalum is a Californian native and is, I think, the most widely grown trillium in Ireland, north and south. The typical plant has liver-brown flowers but there are several other colour forms, including white, pink and purplish red. Yellow green forms have been found in the Santa Cruz Mountains south of San Francisco.
Bob Gordon has been growing the species in his woodland garden for many years, and for some time colour variants have been appearing, including yellowish green forms. Six or seven years ago Bob gave me some seedlings which he thought should include some of the latter. I planted them out in the garden. By 2013 a good clump with clear yellow flowers had built up, and I thought it would make an excellent show plant.
Following Gordon Toner’s advice I lifted the clump in August 2013 when it became dormant, and potted it up in a rich woodland compost with a little fish blood and bone added. I then buried the pot in the garden where it remained until mid February this year when I lifted it to protect it from severe winds and the depredations of molluscs.

The plant received a Farrer Medal at the 75th Anniversary Ulster Group Show, and was given an AM by the Joint Rock Committee who invited me to name it. I proposed the name ‘Bob Gordon’ as a small tribute to a great and generous plantsman.

                                                                                                                                                                                             Photos, Heather Smith