Thursday, April 28, 2011

Trillium flexipes by any other name...

...is Bent Trillium, White Trillium, Drooping Trillium, White wakerobin, Wood lily, Trinity flower...and sometimes even Nodding Trillium (although most often Nodding Trillium seems to refer to Trillium cemuum, not found in our area). This plant goes by a lot of aliases!

Recurved white petals of Drooping Trillium (Trillium flexipes) bend gracefully back over the sepals.

...water droplets cling to the petals of Trillium flexipes. This April, if you've been out looking for wildflowers in Ohio, you've probably seen water droplets on practically everything (including yourself). I think we've only had two days of sunshine...

Identifying characteristics of Trillium flexipes are creamy white anthers and filaments....and the anthers (the tip of the flower's stamen that holds the pollen) are longer than the filaments (the part of the flower's stamen that holds the anther). In this photo you can see the anthers (creamy white and coated in pollen) are much longer than the filaments because you can barely see the filaments!

The drooping peduncle (stem) that aptly gives this trillium one of its common names, and which makes it so different from the stalkless Trillium sessile from this post.

...the three big and beautiful leaves of Trillium flexipes often hide the blossom if it "droops" below the leaf level. Here the blossom hovers just above...

...another look at those beautiful recurved petals! (Can you tell I like this view...)

Rick, Matty and I found this stand of trillium along the Little Miami River this past Sunday. The Trillium sessile (from this post), were still blooming, but their petals were already shriveled and worn in many of the plants, and our attention shifted to the fresh and beautiful white blossoms of Trillium flexipes.

...the maroon/white form of Trillium flexipes. Most of the trilliums along the Little Miami River were white, but a few of the blossoms showed this maroon/white coloring. Of course, the anthers and filaments were still the creamy white color.

...trilliums have an interesting method of seed dispersal....from my "Wildflowers of Ohio" book by Robert Henn:
"The seeds contain an oil which attracts ants that carry the seeds to their nest. There the ants consume the oil as food, but do not harm the seeds, and thus the seeds are dispersed."

Andrew from "The Natural Treasures of Ohio" just posted on Tricky Trilliums. Head over to his blog for a detailed account of the trillium species in Ohio.

16 comments:

A.L. Gibson said...

great minds think alike, Kelly! I just published a post about T. flexipes and its color forms on my blog an hour or so ago :) Loved your take and photography on the subject, such a gorgeous plant.

Kelly said...

Thanks, Andrew! You have so much info posted, I'll put a link to it.

Carole Meisenhelter said...

superb photos of the beautiful trilliums; such beauty. I'm looking forward to exploring more into your blog and your artwork too. Tks your comment my blog, that gave me such a buzz since 'art' is my latest challenge.

Caitlin said...

I love the view from the back~ it looks like a hug :)

Wanda..... said...

I've been absent for awhile, Kelly...but have just viewed all your wonderful posts I've missed. Your extraordinary photos truly put a song in my heart this morning, I too came across a garter snake while taking photos of trilliums in the woods.

Janice K said...

Beautiful! Beautiful! They are one of my favorite wildflowers. We live in a kind of hilly wooded area, and there is one hillside in particular that is covered with Trillium. It is so breathtaking to drive by it with the sun streaming through the trees.

Out on the prairie said...

I like the seed sharing info, never knew that.Lovely photos Kelly.

Montanagirl said...

Such terrific macros, Kelly! The Trilliums are so beautiful.

Chris said...

Wow that's a beautiful plant and you got beautiful pictures of it... I love your approach, the angle of the pictures and the tones of them are gorgeous!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Kelly, I love seeing the Trillium --and seeing them 'up close and personal' is even better. Thanks so much.
Hugs,
Betsy

Carol Mattingly said...

Such dainty little beauties. Spring might be my favorite season since Fall is so dry of late. Carol

Michael Bartneck said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chris said...

I forgot to mention that I'm thinking to all of you in USA with these big tornadoes you got and I'm happy that you are safe!

Kelly said...

...thanks everyone! I love this little flower. Caitlin...I think it looks like a hug too! Today I went to Fort Ancient and found the third common Trillium for our area. That should be my last trillium post for a while. A few people have been asking me..."where are the birds?" :-)

Michael Bartneck said...

Hey Kelly, see why all the variations on my latest post.peace...ps nice pics!

Valerie said...

Those close ups are terrific! One of the reasons I love photography. So much we miss with just the naked eye.
Well Done!