{Almost} Wordless Wednesday :: Red Trillium (Trillium erectum)

Posted on: May 13th, 2015 by Trillium Art

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With a business name such as Trillium Art, it’s hard to let my walk among the trilliums on Monday go without commenting.  The flowers of the trillium fascinate me with its patterns of three:  three leaves, three petals and three sepals.  I love the symmetry!  The showiest of the trilliums is the great white trillium.  I had previous written a post about our provincial flower…you can read about it here.

The contrast between the pure white trillium and the dark red trillium was striking in the fading twilight during Monday’s walk.  I must admit that I don’t think I have caught the red trilliums blooming quite like this.  They usually bloom before the white trilliums and I, in the past, have arrived too late as they are just fading.  The trillium’s life cycle is dependent on the deciduous forest where it lives.  This is the time of year when the most light reaches the forest floor and the trilliums celebrate in style!

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The nodding flower has an unpleasant scent although I didn’t get that close to confirm!  It uses this odour to attract flies that act as its pollinators.  The Red Trillium will bloom for about 3 weeks, after which they produce a berry-type seed. Once the leaves of the deciduous trees plunge the trilliums into shade, they become dormant until next year.

A true sign of spring in Ontario…don’t you agree?

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Zone:  4

Light Conditions:  part shade to full shade (often found on the forest floor beneath deciduous trees)

Soil:  moist, humus rich soil

Height:  8” – 16”

Flowers:   maroon to reddish-brown three-petalled flowers in late April to May

Tips:  did you know it takes a trillium 7-11 years to mature to flower, although their lifespan can be as great as 30 years!

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