A Trillium relative, Paris quadrifolia is a woodland plant from Europe and W. Asia, a bit peculiar because of its symmetric ‘constitution’. The four whorled leaves are topped up in early spring with a solitary, interesting flower with thread-like petals. By mid-summer it will form a blue berry, which is poisonous.
An unusual plant for a moist, shady place in the garden; it will form a nice colony when happy. In very dry conditions it can go dormant in the summer just like a trillium. Not often seen in cultivation, but it is definitely worth to do it from seed to establish a few plants; later it can be divided.
In medieval times this particular symmetry had Paris quadrifolia considered the ‘herb of equality’ and it was used in marriage rituals and as a guard against witches. It was tried as medicinal but it proved out to be too dangerous; today it is employed in homeopathy.
Germination: best sown fresh or in late winter or early spring. It needs a warm-cold-warm (moist) cycle to germinate. Seeds have been kept moist.