This beautiful little trillium plant is growing near the Turtle. And from the Turtle’s windows we can see a white blanket of trilliums under the rock ledge in the forest.
The white trillium (Trillium Grandiflorum) is the provincial flower of Ontario. It blooms in May – a sure sign that spring has arrived! The trillium is well named: it has three leaves, three petals and a three-sectioned seed-pod!
The Ontario Parks website lists four other fun facts about trilliums:
Trillium seeds are primarily dispersed by ants
This dispersal method is known as Myrmecochory. Ants are attracted to the protein-rich elaiosome on the seeds of trilliums, which they eat after carrying the entire seed back to their nests. The actual seeds are not harmed during this process, and are later discarded to grow a new plant.
The White Trillium is a favourite food of White-tailed Deer
If you pick a trillium, the plant may not have enough energy to survive throughout the winter
As a spring ephemeral, trilliums have a few short weeks in the spring to collect as much sunlight and nutrients as possible to be able to survive for the rest of the year. If you pick a trillium in the height of its flowering glory, it may not be able to collect enough resources to survive.
There are five native trillium species found in Ontario
They are: White Trillium, Red Trillium, Painted Trillium, Drooping Trillium, and Nodding Trillium.