May. 15, 2017

large nodding trillium, Trillium flexipes

Sybil recently enquired about identification of this trillium. I don't get many questions about trilliums. Which can only mean that a lot of trillium watchers are wrong. Trilliums are deceptively difficult. Across the range of any particular species, the only reliable keys are often the relative shape, size and color of the pistil, stamens, and their parts. We know this is Trillium flexipes because of the large anthers, and the prominent ridges on the ovary. Not because it's nodding or red. Other trilliums are this color, and others nod. And T. flexipes isn't always red, and doesn't always nod. I think there must be a large overlap between plant identifiers and puzzle solvers. This trillium grows in AL, AR, GA, IA, IL, IN, KY, MD(E), MI, MN, MS, NC, NY(E), OH, PA, SD, TN, VA, WI, WV, and ON. Ives Fen Preserve, Lenawee Co MI, 5/9/15.