Wildflowers Monday – Pink and green Trillium

Wandering in the woods through masses of white trillium (T. grandiflorum) at peak flowering is a privilege.Trillium grandiflorumAn even greater and exciting treat is finding its pink form – Trillium grandiflorum f. roseum and interesting green variants. The pink flower form can be usually found mixed in large populations of ‘normal’ white trilliums. Scouting for them has to be done early because later almost all of the “whites” will also turn slightly pink when fading.

Trillium grandiflorum f. roseum

Trillium grandiflorum f. roseum

Trillium grandiflorum f. roseum3Trillium grandiflorum f. roseum2

The greening of the White Trillium flowers is believed to be caused by infection with a plant pathogen belonging to the genus Phytoplasma. Phytoplasmic infections are usually confined to phloem and often result in the transformation of floral parts to leafy green structures, potentially leading to sterility of the plant. But there is more research to be done until all will be clear regarding this subject.

Trillium grandiflorum green variant1

Trillium grandiflorum – green variant No.1

Trillium grandiflorum green variant2

Trillium grandiflorum – green variant No. 2; I think ‘Green Feather’ would be a good name for it…

Trillium grandiflorum green variant3
Trillium grandiflorum – the No.3 green variant, arising from a carpet of wild-ginger leaves

I can only watch closely my variants to see how they evolve and if they’ll form fruits/seeds. There is something beautiful about their ‘infection’ ;) At least the No.3 looks very happy and thriving.

 

2 replies
  1. willisjw
    willisjw says:

    As I’ve been watching the spring flowers evolve I am in awe of your ability to grab seeds from some of these plants. Some, like the Hepaticas, are pretty easy if your timing is right, but many of the others are small and not so obvious (like Saxifrage) and I’m still trying to figure them out.

    • diversifolius
      diversifolius says:

      Thank you. Lots of trials and errors, good luck, and curiosity; always found the fruits/seeds being as fascinating as the flowers they come from.

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