Here they go!

Trillium grandiflorum seeds are just beginning to germinate! As well is Paris quadrifolia; I noticed the first signs last Saturday (with my x40 lens).

I snapped a few pictures when I was packing some today; they are advanced enough to be noticeable even if the pictures are not great.

Trillium grandiflorum seeds starting to germinate


Paris quadrifolia seeds barely showing the radicle

No matter what someone else says/writes, this is happening every year.

For these species, moist stored seeds kept at warm will always start to germinate around this time (roots only).
From all T. grandiflorum seeds, 70-80% will germinate now (roots) and then show the first leaves in the spring after a period of cold stratification. The rest will need a cold/warm cycle to go through the same cycle.

Paris quadrifolia seeds were also tested two years ago and at that time they all germinated by November (this year I only got few and were promised to someone).

On short, hurry up if you think about Trillium grandiflorum; right now I can select and send seeds that are just about to germinate (they are enlarged and lighter in colour – see the feature image).



The magic trick – Paris quadrifolia

Herb Paris, True lover’s Knot, Devil-in-a-bush

Renown of being hard to germinate because it requires several warm/cold cycles to break dormancy, Paris is often avoided by many people when it comes to growing it from seeds. A couple of days ago, during a check-up of the moist stored seeds, I had a big surprise. Almost all the garden collected seeds (in late summer) were already germinated! These seeds were cleaned and placed in moist vermiculite right away – an advantage of the garden collecting. Seeds that I collected in the wild and couldn’t place right away in moist storage look good but still haven’t decided to germinate.

Unless a magic trick is involved (not unusual at this time of year), cleaning the seeds after the berries are ripen and putting them right away in a bag with slightly moist vermiculite, which is the same as sowing them fresh, works very well for Paris quadrifolia.

Paris quadrifolia germinated seeds

Paris quadrifolia germinated seeds

Paris quadrifolia is a Trillium relative from moist deciduous forests of Europe and W. Asia, with a symmetric ‘constitution’ (Paris from Latin pars – equal). The four whorled leaves are topped up in early spring by a solitary, interesting flower with thread-like petals and a crown of golden stamens, followed by a deep blue berry (poisonous).

Paris quadrifolia

Paris quadrifolia

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 also associated with medicine in medieval English tradition, being mentioned in Gerard’s Herbal as an antidote to toxic substances like arsenic and mercury.

According to other herbalists of the time, the black berries were also used as a remedy for those who had lost their minds through bewitchment, or as an antidote for mental confusion due to supernatural causes :) (today it remains employed only in homeopathy).

In conclusion, for now we are safe from witches and if in the future we are to get confused, we shall use a few Paris berries…(need “ to be administered in unequal numbers” :)))