Behold the Pink Trillium

A couple days ago my husband came home and announced that there were flowers in the woods by his construction job site that looked like trillium, but they were pink. Excitement mounted. I had heard of pink trillium, but had not yet seen one. The next morning I tagged along to the job site, and lo and behold, pink trillium everywhere, in the woods and roadside ditches.

Pink WildflowersI spent the next 2-3 hours crawling around in the woods trying to get the best shots and trying to remember to be on the lookout for poison ivy (also everywhere). Later I researched pink trillium, trying to find out why they are pink. Is it due to being a different species, or is it related to the soil where they grow? They certainly look like the same species as the white ones I have seen. Note the three large leaves (actually bracts)  on both.

White trillium wildflower

Several sources indicated that while there is a pink species, it is quite rare. A more likely reason for the pink color is that it is part of the life cycle of white trillium. Apparently a few days before white trillium wilt, they often turn pink. Another interesting tidbit is that trillium seeds are spread by ants who carry the seeds back to their nests. The seeds are thus situated slightly underground in well-worked soil, enabling them to germinate and grow.

pink wildflowerTrillium bloom for about two to three weeks in the spring. The fact that the ones I found were pink probably means they won’t be around much longer this year.  Trillium are very slow growing and best enjoyed where you find them. It is illegal to pick or transplant trillium from public lands in Minnesota without a permit.

Pink wildflowerThe perfect end to a morning of wildflower scouting was a find of yellow lady slippers growing in amongst the pink  trillium. Stay tuned for more on the yellow lady slippers.

Pink and yellow wildflowers

~ by Pinetree Photo Nature Discovery on May 24, 2012.

6 Responses to “Behold the Pink Trillium”

  1. Gorgeous…

  2. Ants taking the seeds to their nests is new to me. Thanks for that tidbit. Love the last photo with the pink trillium among the yellow lady slippers.

  3. I really like your blog posts, Carol. Just enough pictures and information that one can take it all in easily and perhaps, the next time one sees a flower of which you spoke, there will be a, e.g., ‘Look! it’s a Pink Trillium!”

  4. Beautiful!!

  5. What a GREAT DAY. Your close-ups are incredible. And the lady slipper are such a wonderful bonus.

  6. Thanks for the kind comments everyone. I am sorry to see May end, it is such a great month for wildflowers.

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