Monday, March 24, 2008

Trillium



We took a lovely spring hike yesterday up Baltimore Canyon in Larkspur. The weather was pleasantly warm and sunny, and the very first of the white wildflowers were blooming along the path. The trillium make such a big splash along the trails. This one is called Trillium Ovatum or the Western Wake Robin. I found this out by talking to my sister, and also by consulting the online Trillium Identifier.

I learned some other interesting things while I was looking for the name. Picking the flowers of Trillium can seriously injure the plant. The three leaves below the flower are the plant's only food source and a picked trillium may die or take many years to recover. Trillium seeds have an organ called an elaiosome that attracts ants. The ants take the seeds to their nest, where they eat the elaiosomes and put the seeds in their garbage, where they can be protected until they germinate. They also get the added bonus of growing in a medium made richer by the ant garbage. (Did you know that ants have a special place for their garbage?? This requires more research.)



I'm not sure what this plant is, because it hadn't bloomed yet, but the leaves were such a gorgeous green, and the way the breeze played on the leaves made such a soft lovely bed.

1 comment:

Meredith said...

That looks like False Solomon's Seal.