Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Trilliums Live!

I found them! I found them! The Nodding Trilliums live! A few posts back I mentioned the fears of New York botanists that this trillium seemed to be disappearing from our state, so I've been looking for them ever since I learned that, and today I found two in bloom on the Bog Meadow Trail. Just two. And one was very small.

I also found lots of trillium leaves without flowers, so maybe there will be many more here in the future. Let's hope. And let's also stop mowing them down. Please!

I'll be leading a nature walk on the Bog Meadow Trail on May 22 (go to Saratoga PLAN for details), so I scouted the trail today for possible features to point out to the folks who show up. Those trilliums might still be in bloom, and I also found Buckbean leaves protruding above the water in a trailside wetland. They'll probably be in bloom by the time we come by on our walk.

And so will the Glaucous Honeysuckle, which I found in bud today after several years of abandoning hope I would find it here again.

Glaucous is a beautiful native honeysuckle with blooms of purply orange and yellow, quite showy compared to what was blooming today. The Chokecherry shrubs had the showiest blooms, but I'm sure they will be long gone by May 22.

Green and white was the color scheme today, with Red Baneberry holding its puffy white blooms above its lacy green foliage.

The queen of green flowers is Solomon's Seal, with dainty bells dangling down from gracefully arching stems.

Blunt-leaved Sandwort holds its snowy petals apart so its star-shaped green sepals provide a perfect foil for the fuzzy white stamens surrounding its green pistillate parts. Masses of these small (1/2 inch) pretty blooms will be lining the trail now for several weeks to come.

This crowfoot has a touch of yellow to it, but you could hardly call it showy. It's only about a quarter inch across, and its petals are actually kind of green. The yellow parts are the anthers, massed around a bristly ball in the center. I'm not sure which species of crowfoot this is, since it doesn't exactly match what I find in my wildflower guides. Update: I guess I was looking on the wrong page! After wandering around Google I have determined that this is Hooked Crowfoot (Ranunculus recurvatus).

Here's a closer look at that bristly ball with its tiny protruding hooks. I guess this must be the pistillate part of the plant, where the seeds will form and reach out with those hooks to latch on to any passersby.

It might be hard to get folks all excited about crowfoot, though, even if they carried magnifying glasses. Not everybody shares my fascination with plants' "naughty bits," and they like to see something pretty. If we're lucky, the Blue Flags should be in bloom.


Carolyn H said...

Nice find on that trillium. Is the nodding trillium smaller than the average trillium? Or is it just that particular plant that is smaller? It's a very delicate little thing, isn't it?

Carolyn H

Ellen Rathbone said...

But it IS pretty - up close and in the sunshine! Hand out those hand lenses and convince 'em, Jackie! If anyone can, it will be you!

Nice find with the trillium, and I love that sandwort! What a lovely flower with some very delicate parts that almost look like they are made of crystal.

Have fun on your walk on the 22nd! I'm sure you'll post about it, and I can't wait to read what you find.

Jacqueline Donnelly said...

Hi Carolyn, thanks for your comment. The Nodding Trillium plant is usually about the same size as the much more common Red Trillium, although the flower tends to be a bit smaller in circumference. The one in my photo is much smaller than usual.

Hi Ellen, thanks for your encouragement. Maybe I can borrow a bunch of magnifiers from my lichen expert friend Sue. The macro world is certainly amazing!

Wayne said...

Congrats on finding T. cernuum! I'm sure we are all hoping they bounce back.
I share your fascination with the tiny world, and I always enjoy the treasures you share. I think compact digital cameras like yours are great macro tools because of the great depth of field of the short lenses.

catharus said...

That's wonderful news on the nodding trillium!
'Quite the back yard you have (May 7 post)!!

Jacqueline Donnelly said...

Hello, Wayne, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Yes, I agree about the small cameras' macro talents. My only problem is making it focus on what I want it to. I've tried using the manual focus setting, but it doesn't seem to work at the macro level.

Thanks, catharus. I was marveling, myself, at how beautiful my backyard looks from the photos on my post. The truth is, you wouldn't see many of these flowers without carefully searching, since they are quite small and hidden among the greenery. Just like the wildflowers in the woods.