Warm weather has arrived with a vengeance, causing the spring wildflowers to burst into bloom.
Wild orchids and trilliums have always fascinated me; the orchids are aren’t in flower yet but the trilliums are in full bloom.
The most common trillium in this area is the purple trillium (Trillium erectum), also known as wake-robin or stinking Benjamin (an ugly name for a beautiful flower). The plants are usually found as scattered individuals or small colonies. But in one small spot in the Big Woods I found over 100 blooming plants in an area about ten feet in diameter.
Although most of the flowering plants were small, a few of the plants were large and apparently mature with impressive flowers –
Although white trillium (Trillium grandiflorum) is native to the area, it’s virtually impossible to find any here – 80 years of high white-tailed deer populations have effectively eliminated the species from the Big Woods. The only place I can find any of the plants is within a deer-proof fence. What a beautiful flower –
There are reportedly seven species of trillium native to Pennsylvania, but the only other trillium that can be found in the Big Woods is painted trillium (Trillium undulatum). Its occurrence is spotty, but it can be quite abundant where it is found –
Of course, trilliums aren’t the only spring flowers in bloom in the Big Woods. There was the aptly named spring beauty –
And trout lily –
And bloodroot –
And a number of other species. What a great time of year!