Saturday, April 17, 2010

Red Trillium

Sweet Wakerobin
Trillium vaseyi
(TRIL-ee-um) (VAS-ee-eye)
Synonym: Red Trillium, Vasey's Trillium, Stinking Benjamin
Click Here for a Larger Version

This is one of the most distinguished plants in our woodland garden. It is perennial having returned for about 25 years now. There are all sorts of things that make the Trillium special. The way they reproduce is kind of interesting having their seed spread by ants and mice from the Wikipedia article the process is explained like this:

At maturity, the base and core of the Trillium ovary turns soft and spongy. Trillium seeds have a fleshy organ called an elaiosome that attracts ants. The ants extract the seeds from the decaying ovary and take them 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.” This process is called myrmecochory and is a good example of mutualism, with both species deriving benefit from the action.

These were shot with a Nikon P6000

Our plant has not popped up anywhere else but we do discourage both ants and mice. You should never pick a Tillium flower as the plant can take a long time to recover. As a matter of fact it is protected against picking and collection in many US states and parts of Canada. The white Trillium, which is a little easier to see than the red, is the official flower of the Canadian province of Ontario and the state flower of Ohio.

I am glad this flower had its head turned up for easy photographing. They are often, as were the others in the group, nod downward because of the weight.


SandyCarlson said...

Wow. It's always a treat to find these in the woods. Your portraits are wonderful.

I remember a school girl down the road from my parents' home in Newtown finding some and picking them before school. She was from Australia. The parents at the bus stop were horrified. The poor kid. She never did it again.

keewee said...

Stunning flower indeed.

Les said...

A beautful flower, beautifully photographed.


beautifully captured. I'm real;ly glad that I'm finding so many blogs that are dedicated to flowers here on blogspot. My blog is not dedicated to flowers but I love capturing flowers and posting thgem on blogger. My most recent posy ahs got some flowers from my hometown, plz visit and comment,. :-)

Vernz said...

They are all lovely .... great shot... I have to learn a lot from you...

The Cosmos
Remains of the old Dabaw
TV above my coffee

Eleanor Thorel said...

Beautiful! I love red trilliums! I especially like your pansy close up as well! A wonderful talent!

Kala said...

Beautiful shots. I saw these blooming (along with the white trilium) this weekend while we were out hiking.

Princess Haiku said...

Wonderful! I saw two purple trillium at the base of a redwood tree in the Ukiah, Ca area several years ago. She is a shy and delicate flower.

canada flower said...

Hey this is really beautiful Flower . I have not seen this flower before. But its really very nice. Give me more information about it, I will love to read it.

candyfrmny said...

This is a very beautiful flower,wish we had a flower here like that.
The picture is beautiful!
And thanks so much for including the details about the flower, I found it very interesting.

if you like you can check out my photos at: