Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Trillium grandiflorum

A grand flower indeed! The Latin, scientific name in the title is succinct yet grandiose.

Today I give you the botanical description of the Large-flowered Trillium; words gleaned and gathered from various Botany texts, and rearranged into poetry form by "Father Nature":

Showy flower
two-to-four inches wide.
Three green sepals,
three waxy-edged petals.
unbranched perennial.

One, large,
waxy-white flower.
Broad and solitary
on erect stalk,
above a whorl
of three broad leaves.

Leaves three-to-six
inches long.
Broadly ovate
to diamond-shaped.
nearly stalkless.

A single whorl
of leaves.
at top of stem,
with prominent
netted veins.

Eight to eighteen
inches tall.
April to June
in rich woods
and thickets.

Ontario east
to Nova Scotia.
South to
Georgia and Alabama.
North to
Illinois and Minnesota.

Trilliums thrive in this
rich, moist, woodland.
A lowland bordering
the Grand River.
The Lily family
carpets half an acre.

Six stamens
with yellow anthers.
Filaments stout.
Three stigmas
slightly spreading
or curving erect.

Largest and
showiest Trillium.
Welcome to sketch
in your Journal,
but Please...
do not pick!

Now, a long lesson in wildflower perseverance:

After two weeks, the white flower becomes pink, then shrivels.

Eventually, seeds develop and fall out from a splitting, ripe capsule. The seeds require two winters in the soil before rising above the surface.

For about six years, the Trillium produces only one-leaf and three-leaf forms; then it flowers for the first time. Then it blooms every spring thereafter, if it's in a stable habitat.