Persistent trillium (Trillium persistens) is a rare species only found at the head of Tallulah Gorge in Georgia and South Carolina. A large, contiguous population probably extended along the river banks before major dams and reservoirs inundated former habitat and fragmented the range. This member of the lily family, listed as endangered in 1978, is a small perennial herb that produces a 3-petaled pink flower in early spring. These plants require 7-10 years to mature, making it difficult to sustain stable populations in the native habitat.
Researchers at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens (CZBG) have developed tissue culture propagation methods for this species (Pence and Soukup, 1995; Gagliardo et al., 2012). The CZBG is internationally known for its success in the protection and propagation of endangered animals and plants, and engages in research and conservation projects worldwide. As a CPC Participating Institution they currently preserve 80 endangered plants in our National Collection. We are deeply grateful for their hard work and commitment.
The conservation experts at CPC participating institutions such as the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden share their in-depth conservation expertise about rare plants through CPC’s National Collection Plant Profiles.
Persitent Trillium photo credit: Hugh and Carol Nourse