“Green Variations”

“Green Variations”

“Never the same twice and endless possibilities, nature continues to surprise me.” – Ed Lehming

Green Trilliums? Yes, I’ve seen them on a few occasions but there seems to be a high portion of them along the trails at North Walker Woods. The first time a saw these interesting variants of the white trillium I began studying them to understand why they look so different. It turns out that the green is caused by mycoplasma-like organisms, a kind of bacteria and will eventually cause the plant to die. I have not gone in depth on the topic but is seems this bacteria affects the plant at the genetic level and prevents the white petals from fully forming. These white-green varieties also have a lot of variability, two shown here, from full green petals to a thin green streak down the centre of the petal. I’ve also seen them as ‘doubles’ where there are six petals rather than three. All these ‘doubles’ have quite a bit of green in them.

As studies show, this bacteria affects whole colonies and I’m seeing some small groupings filled with it. Hopefully it does not spread.

It’s funny, once you start down the rabbit-hole of this variant, it seems there are several others who took it to a new level and have published papers on the subject:

Hooper, G. R., Case, F. W. and Myers, R. 1971. Mycoplasma-like bodies associated with a flower greening disorder of a wildflower, Trillium grandiflorum. Plant Disease Reporter, 55: 1108–1110.

Bertaccini, A., Fránová, J., Paltrinieri, S. et al. European Journal of Plant Pathology (1999) 105: 487. doi:10.1023/A:1008745206438

Arocha-Rosete Y, Morales-Lizcano NP, Hasan A, Yoshioka K, Moeder W, Michelutti R, Satta E, Bertaccini A, Scott J (2016) First report of the identification of a ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma pruni’-related strain in Trillium species in Canada. New Disease Reports 34, 19. doi: 10.5197/j.2044-0588.2016.034.019

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm

1/500 sec, f/11.0, ISO 250

For more images like this, please visit my website (images are available for purchase)

6 Comments on ““Green Variations”

  1. I have never seen or heard of this before. Funny how WordPress can be so educational – thanks to bloggers like you! Beautiful images, Ed. thanks for sharing them.

  2. The flowers are very beautiful looking. It’s such a pity their green stripe is a sign they are not in good health.

  3. Pingback: “Green Trillium” | Ed Lehming Photography

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