Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Ohio's Earliest Trillium

Ohio's earliest and most diminutive Trillium, Snow Trillium, Trillium nivale is a member of the Liliaceae or Lily family. These dime-sized beauties have a special charm of their own.

Trilliums are the most recognizable and earliest of the spring ephemerals: those short-lived wildflowers that bloom before trees fully leaf out in the spring. And Snow Trilliums, standing but 3-5 inches tall, are a real rarity.

These were photographed in Franklin County (just outside of Columbus), where I have seen the hardy half-pints blooming in April- when snow was still lingering on the ground! The Wilderness, a property owned by
The Nature Conservancy in Adams County also harbors a population that should be in full bloom right now.

Easy to recognize but difficult to find, the Snow Trillium is a flora-phile's delight.
And if you are one of the many hundreds of flora-philes and botanists headed to Columbus on Friday for the Ohio Botanical Symposium, stop by the Flora-Quest booth and say "hello" to the Weedpicker. One of my favorite events each year, it is well organized by Ohio's Heritage Botanist, Mr. Rick Gardner. Hope to see you there!

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