Monday, April 8, 2019

Pacific Trillium

Pacific Trilliums (Trillium ovatum) are blooming in our Olympia backyard. This flower is variable, ranging from white to purple. It grows in western mountains and along the Pacific coast, from California to British Columbia and Alberta. The species blooms early in the spring, and, for that reason, is also called wake-robin, They are occasionally commercially grown, although seeds take many years to germinate. The plant also propagates asexually by root growth and division, Trillium is pollinated by ants. What appear to be Trillium leaves are actually flower bracts and their stems are extensions of their roots (USDA). The true leaves are tiny, scale[like structures that grow on the roots. Although the leaves can be boiled and eaten, the berries and roots are known to be of “low toxicity” (Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. This source advises caution since closely related plants are poisonous,

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