Humboldt’s Gothic Princess: Giant Purple Wakerobin

by Genevieve on March 18, 2013

Post image for Humboldt’s Gothic Princess: Giant Purple Wakerobin

Who says native plants aren’t lovely? Giant purple wakerobin, or Trillium kurabayashii, is just one of the uncommon beauties found in our local forests.

I love the mottled leaves, which rival those of Brunnera ‘Jack Frost’ for interest in the shade garden, but the blackish-burgundy blooms seal the deal for me and make this a must-have plant in any forested garden in Humboldt.

While they’re not super-difficult to grow, they do need rich, composty soil that is well-drained, as well as partial shade to establish.

They’re not for the impatient gardener, but if you’re living in your dream home among the redwoods, this plant is well worth taking the time to establish as once it’s going strong, it’s relatively care-free and easy to grow.

Trillium kurabayashii photo by Janette Heartwood (3)

Trillium kurabayashii photo by Janette Heartwood (2)

Giant purple wakerobin is just starting to bloom in Humboldt, so head on out for a forest walk if you’d like to see these beauties in the wild!

Photos and inspiration courtesy Janette Heartwood.

You can buy Trillium kurabayashii here at Dancing Oaks Nursery

Photographer Mark Turner talks about this plant on his site about Pacific Northwest Wildflowers

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Deirdre in Seattle March 18, 2013 at 11:47 am

I have that. It is the earliest blooming of the trilliums in my garden. I need more.

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edremsrola March 19, 2013 at 8:31 am

I do love Trilliums, but I’ve never seen one like this. Our natives up north are much smaller. I am encouraged that Deirdre has the plant in her Seattle garden, I will have to look for this one to add to my shady space. Although my large trees aren’t the venerable Redwood, my small little stand of Douglas fir should suffice. :^)

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edremsrola March 19, 2013 at 8:32 am

I do love Trilliums, but I’ve never seen one like this. Our natives up north are much smaller. I am encouraged that Deirdre has the plant in her Seattle garden, I will have to look for this one to add to my shady space. Although my large trees aren’t the venerable Redwood, my small little stand of Douglas fir should suffice. :^)

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carolyn mullet March 19, 2013 at 10:28 am

How beautiful! I’m having northwest gardening lust.

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Genevieve March 20, 2013 at 1:05 pm

It’s easy to develop. So many people stereotype our natives as boring or limiting, but I see some serious hawtness here for garden geeks that want to go native! :)

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Jason March 19, 2013 at 1:31 pm

I have a Midwestern native that looks like a miniature version of this.

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Genevieve March 20, 2013 at 11:10 am

Oooh, neat Jason!

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Jason March 19, 2013 at 1:31 pm

I have a Midwestern native that looks like a miniature version of this.

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Charlie@Seattle Trekker March 25, 2013 at 10:22 pm

I really prize the trilliums in my garden. They are just now starting to bloom. Thank your for sharing your photos.

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