The trillium is the provincial flower of Ontario, and if you’ve been on a walk through the forest near Cave Springs recently you may have noticed that they are currently blooming!
Here are a few facts about trilliums:
They love sunlight!
They bloom in the spring when the trees don’t have leaves on them- their flowers disappear once the leaves block sunlight from reaching them.
Trilliums are very fragile.
If you pick one, no other flower will grow in its place and the plant itself will probably not be able to survive winter. They also grow extremely slowly- it takes 7-10 years for a trillium plant to flower. Picking a trillium is heavily discouraged- and it’s actually illegal to do so according to the Ontario Trillium Protection Act (2009).
Three is the magic number for trilliums.
They have three petals on their flower, three leaves, three green sepals, and a three-sectioned seed pod. This is why they’re called TRI-lliums.
White trilliums are the favourite food of the white-tailed deer.
Specifically white trilliums, deers don’t prefer the other trillium species.
Ants spread trillium seeds!
Ants are attracted to the protein-rich elaiosome on the seeds of trilliums, which they eat after carrying the entire seed back to their nests. The actual seeds are not harmed during this process, and are later discarded to grow a new plant. This dispersal method is known as Myrmecochory.
There are five native trillium species found in Ontario
They are: White Trillium, Red Trillium, Painted Trillium, Drooping Trillium, and Nodding Trillium.