Sunday, April 15, 2012

You Never Forget Your First

White Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum) aka Large Flowered Trillium

   Married for 16 years and celebrating in our own special way, Jeff and I spent the afternoon of our anniversary at Green Hill park hoping to see something special on this special day.
  Although we did see about a hundred Zebra Swallowtail butterflies congregating around the Paw Paw groves (their host plants), we were having a hard time finding anything interesting in a place that was full of wildflowers last fall. We were getting tired and were just about to leave when Jeff pointed up the hill and said in his typical silly but serious way, "All the good stuff is probably up there...those woods are probably full of Trilliums" (a plant we have never seen, but desperately wanted to). Still restrained by crutches and therefore unable to climb steep trails, I agreed, naturally where I couldn't go is likely where all the good stuff is!
   So, Jeff wheeled the car over as close as we could get to the bottom of the hill and just for kicks, I got out the binoculars to see if I could see any flowers through the woods.
   "Uh, stop the car!" I saw something, a lot of something, and it looked like wild geranium from a distance (turned out to be tons of white violets). I panned the binoculars up and lo and behold I saw what looked like a Trillium! Really! We parked, got out, stepped into the woods, and were greeted with a patch about the size of an acre of what must have been hundreds of Trilliums! And other cool plants too! Happy Anniversary to us!
   All the times we'd been to this park before, even this spot on this trail, we'd never been here at the right time, we had no idea these plants were here, hence the ephemeral-ness of spring ephemerals. Thank you little violets for getting my attention and making me look, besides them and the Trilliums we also found False Solomon's Seal, Mayapple, Twinleaf, Bellwort, Dwarf Larkspur, Sweet Cicely, Bugbane/Black Cohosh, Hepatica, Blue Cohosh, and numerous Sedges. There could have been more, but the plants were so thick carpeting the forest floor and the slope was so steep that it was hard to see everything. It was a magical sight.
   Needless to say, I'll never forget my first Trillium.

Here's a sampling of some of the plants we saw...

Another White Trillium

The petals turn pink as they age, in fact most of the ones we saw were actually pink.

Canadian White Violet (Viola canadensis) aka Tall White Violet

Blue Cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides) kinda late in its blooming cycle with only one flower left

False Solomon's Seal (Maianthemum racemosum) not yet in bloom

Dwarf Larkspur (Delphinium tricorne) in one of the sunnier spots, flowers can be white, lavender, or purple

A large patch of Twinleaf (Jeffersonia diphylla) also enjoyed the sunnier spot but unfortunately was not blooming that day

A hodge-podge of loveliness


  1. Glad to hear you found some! But as I was reading the story, I expected to hear that Jeff had romantically picked you up and carried you up to the trillium patch.

    Happy Anniversary you two crazy kids.

  2. Knowing me, I would have lovingly deposited her in a patch of Poison Ivy or on top of a Yellow Jacket nest and ruined the day.She saw her first job was done:)

  3. Happy to hear you both had a great Anniversary!!! Love, Elizabeth

  4. Ellen, Jeff offers to carry me all the time but I'm too afraid of being dropped, by accident of course!

    Good to hear from you Elizabeth, thanks!

  5. Hi Julie! Happy Anniversary and a swell post. Also like your new quote. Mitch Hedberg is hysterical. You need to put in a link to one of his clips for those unfamiliar with his delivery:)