“Green Trillium”

“In it’s incredible diversity, nature produces many variations, some are very interesting and make you wonder what the cause and purpose may be.” – Ed Lehming

I’ve posted about these interesting trillium variations previously, referring to variants of the White Trillium that have touches of green in them, I have not, till this past week, come across one that is completely green. The other remarkable thing about this particular trillium is that is already blooming, perhaps a full week before its ‘normal’ neighbours.

When you are in a forest with literally tens of thousands of trilliums, you are bound to see a few variations among those numbers. In this particular forest, I have seen many different trillium blossoms, including a few yellow ones, which are a different species altogether as well as many of the green variety. I notice them because I am spending a lot of time observing my surroundings, looking for things that would make good and engaging photographs. I also spend time, when back in my office, researching the things I have observed and sharing this information with my readership.

The green/white trilliums that I have seen in the past are fairly plentiful in isolated patches along the trails in this forest. I have found that the variation is caused by an infection of a mycoplasma-like organism and will ultimately kill the plant. This infection causes the flower to bloom in non-typical ways, many exhibiting varying amounts of green along the edges of the petals, sometimes distorting the petals themselves by creating ripples or waves in the petal form, and apparently, though I have not seen this one yet, creating six petals, rather than the standard three.

But back to this early bloomer. It was even non-typical with other wildflowers this day. As you can see from the image, the flower and leaves are very wet, holding water for the rainy morning. Other flowers had closed up almost completely on this cool and gray day, which did not provide my with much to photograph, yet this flower was wide open, despite the less than ideal environment. I expect this is also a result of the infection but have yet to find articles or similar observations explaining it. I also notice that the stamen are tightly clustered and wonder if the plant is actually sterile?

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

1/320 sec, f/9.0, ISO 200

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