Saturday, May 3, 2008

Ontario's Provincial Flower

White trillium, snow trillium, wood lilies, wake robin (Trillium grandiflorum): Ontario's provincial flower since 1937.

This is a GREAT time of year to walk in the York Regional Forest! I took these photos in the North Tract where there are many deciduous trees as well as evergreens. Many early spring flowers like to grow under leafy trees to get sunshine in early to mid spring but shade in late spring and summer. (And who out there thinks plants can't think? LOL)

These are among the very first trilliums to bloom this year. Soon there will be large areas in bloom, a spectacular view. As these flowers fade, they'll begin to turn pinkish, which is also a pretty sight.

Anyone wondering why these plants are called trilliums? Tri means three in Latin: trillium have three sepals, three leaves, and three petals.

Although trillium flowers are very attractive, they should never be picked because the three leaves below the flower are the plant's only food source. A picked trillium may die or take many years to recover.

One year a friend and I caught sight of a truck in the forest about this time of year. The driver and his passenger acted kinda embarrassed when they saw us and I know why! They were harvesting trilliums and other wildflowers, which is illegal in this forest. They were likely going to sell them for big bucks.

A trillium seed takes seven or more years to flower after being sown, one reason disreputable dealers can sell them for good money. I DO have some white trillium in my own garden, but I dug up one plant about 16 years ago on land that's now a housing development. My one plant has multiplied into two lovely little clumps.

10 comments:

USelaine said...

Oh, I love trilliums! We have them in the forests here too.

Small City Scenes said...

I just took some pictures of trilliums today. I'm glad you posted yours because mine are already fading out. They are so pretty and I am glad to know they are your Provincial flower. MB

Old Wom Tigley said...

I only saw these this week on another blog and really do like them.. but don't they take long to grow.. I am glad you dug up the one you did it might have been crushed under a digger.

Tom

dot said...

What a beauty and such an interesting flower. Seven years..wow!

Ex-Shammickite said...

Trilliums are a sure sign of spring, aren't they? So delicate and pretty, with their blossoms nodding in the breeze. I posted a pic of the purple ones.
North Tract... is that off Hwy 48?

Your EG Tour Guide said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Your EG Tour Guide said...

Ex-s,
The north Tract can be entered from McCowan Road (several places to park on the side of the road) or from the parking lot on 48. There are several paths that interconnect and several areas where spring wildflowers abound. ;-)

The Eldred King Tract also has lots of wildflowers later on in the year. It's the tract that was damaged by a tornado a couple of summers ago. New areas of wildflowers are just beginning to establish themselves where a wide swath of pines were felled by the high winds.

Kris McCracken said...

Lovely pictures and interesting tale. It seems an odd thing to evolve that way, given how people love to pick flowers!

Neal said...

I love trillums. I have an almost identical picture to your top one except the one I have is pointed to the left. I took it last weekend along with some other flowers. My wife has a lady slipper growing in her flower bed. I'll be glad when it blooms so I can take a picture or two.

Katney said...

We have trillium in the old growth forest at Mt. Rainier and other heavily forested areas, but they are very rare and seeing one is a treat. They msut be a different variety, because the blossoms are much smaller. They are protected, so digging them us is illegal here as well. I didn't know that about the blossom being its food source.

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East Gwillimbury is a rural town less than an hour north of Toronto, Canada's largest city. My family calls me CameraGirl because I take my camera with me wherever I go.