Thursday, March 26, 2009

Ohio's Earliest Trillium

Snow Trillium, Trillium nivale is Ohio's earliest and most diminutive of the Trilliums, and a member of the Liliaceae or Lily family. Typical lilies have six-parted flowers, whereas the triangular trillium has three leaves, three petals and three sepals.

Trilliums are among the most recognizable and earliest of the spring ephemerals, the short-lived wildflowers that bloom before trees fully leaf out in the spring. And Snow Trilliums, little 3-5 inch beauties are a real rarity.

These were photographed at The Wilderness, property owned by The Nature Conservancy in Adams County. Franklin County also harbors at least two populations, where I have seen these hardy flowers blooming in April- when snow was still lingering on the ground.

Easy to recognize but difficult to find, the Snow Trillium has a special charm of its own.

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