Trollius europaeus is a beautiful native wild flower of Europe and Western Asia. Found in damp ground in shady areas, woodland and scrub, pastures and woods in mountain areas. It is a most attractive plant with dark green, deeply cut leaves and bears flowers, best described as egg-yolk yellow in colour. The name 'globe flower' refers to the petals which are curved over the top of the flower to appear like a spherical globe.
An attractive and easy to grow plant that likes moist but not overly wet soils in full sun or light shade. They do well even in heavy soils. The foliage is attractive for weeks before flowering. Very occasionally, Trollius will produce a few white to cream coloured flowers too.
Even though it's is a member of the buttercup family, which sports some very aggressive members, the opposite is true of Trollius. It relies on seed production, having no powers of vegetative reproduction and therefore cannot spread by roots. While self-seeding should occur given the right garden conditions, they do not self-seed in my garden.
Trollius is a 'cold germinator' Seeds can be left to go through the seasons naturally or germination hastened by “Stratifying” (imitating the seasons)
Germination should start to occur after 30 days, but can be slow and irregular. It may be up to a year, don’t throw away the seed tray too soon!
The “Natural” method:
Sow seeds at 10°C (50°F), covering them with a thin layer of vermiculite or free draining compost. Keep moist but not wet at all times.
Place each container in a polythene bag to conserve moisture. Check for germination regularly and transplant any seedlings as soon as they are large enough to handle.
In autumn, place the containers outside in a cold frame or plunge them up to the rims in a shady part of the garden border and cover with glass or clear plastic.
Some of the seeds may germinate during the spring and summer and these should be transplanted when large enough to handle. The remainder of the seeds may lay dormant until next spring.
Hastening Germination by Stratification:
Soak and sow seeds as above and leave for four weeks. Transplant any seedlings that have germinated. After 6 weeks chill the remaining seeds: put the tray into the refrigerator at 4°C (39°F), or somewhere with a similar temperature for 6 to 8 weeks. Then remove to around 10°C (50°F)
Prick out each seedling as it becomes large enough to handle, transplant into 7.5cm (3in) pots or trays. Gradually acclimatise to outdoor conditions for 10-15days before planting out, space 30cm (12”) apart.
Trollius thrive in neutral to alkaline soils that are moist, fertile and humus-rich. Partial shade is ideal but can tolerate full sun. Provide shelter from strong, cold winds.
Cut down flowers as they are over to encourage basal growth. Mulch annually in autumn.
Flower Borders and Beds. Damp areas & Marginal planting, Shaded areas.
The species is native to Europe and Western Asia.
Even though it's is a member of the buttercup family, which sports some very aggressive members, the opposite is true of Trollius. It relies on seed production, having no powers of vegetative reproduction and therefore cannot spread by roots.
At first glance you could be forgiven for confusing trollius with the marsh marigold (Caltha palustris), as both are spring-flowering golden-flowered bog garden buttercups. The easiest way to tell them apart is by their Ieaves; Trollius have leaves that are divided and buttercup-like, whilst those of Caltha are glossy and rounded.
The genus was named by Linnaeus in 1753.Troll is Latin for 'globe' and lax is Latin for 'loose'.
The species name europaeus simply refers to the plants origin of Europe.
It is commonly called Globe Flower due to the shape of the blooms.
Conservation of the Trollius species:
In Britain, Trollius europaeus is a decidedly northern species, being much more common in Scotland and Cumbria than further south, although it does occur in North Wales.
The main causes of Trollius decline in Britain and Ireland appear to be agricultural improvement of land through drainage (especially in hilly areas), plus earlier and more frequent cutting of meadows for silage than previously for hay. The widespread application of fertiliser also encourages the growth of more vigorous competitors which globe-flower simply cannot withstand. Populations near river and stream banks have been destroyed by flash floods, a weather-related phenomenon increasing in frequency which may be related to global climate change.
Trollius europaeus is extremely rare within Ireland. It is an “Irish Red Data Book” species, classed as vulnerable. All wild plants are given some measure of protection under the Wildlife (NI) Order, 1985. Populations of this local and endangered species are undergoing a program of scientific monitoring.
Records of new sites and estimates or counts of the sizes of populations are always valuable. Please do not pick or collect this plant. However, do photograph it and send information to The Botanical Society of the British Isles, c/o Department of Botany, National Museums Northern Ireland, 153 Bangor Road, Cultra, Co. Down, BT18 0EU. They will welcome any information you may have.
Fitter, R., Fitter, A. and Blamey, M. (1996). Wild Flowers of Britain and Northern Europe. Collins Pocket Guide, 5th edition. Harper Collins, London.
Ridley, H.N. (1930). The dispersal of plants throughout the world. Reeve & Co., Ashford, Kent.
All Trollius species are slightly poisonous when fresh to cattle and other livestock, but their acrid taste means they are usually left uneaten. They are, however, used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Silver-ground Carpet.
Like other members of the buttercup family, the globe-flower contains the blister-inducing, bitter-tasting poison ‘protoanemonin’, to deter browsers and protect the plant. It is a rubefacient when used fresh. (A rubefacient is a substance for external application that produces redness of the skin e.g. by causing dilation of the capillaries and an increase in blood circulation). Please take care when handling the plant as it may cause skin irritation.
- Additional Information
Packet Size 30mg Average Seed Count 50 Seeds Family Ranunculaceae Genus Trollius Species europaeus Common Name Globeflower, Wildflower of Britain and Ireland Other Language Names IR. Leolach Hardiness Hardy Perennial Flowers Yellow in June to August Foliage Dark Green. Height 1m (36in) in 2 to 5years Spread 50cm (18in) Position Moist but not waterlogged