May. 6, 2021

Eeekkk!!! again

In Gray's Manual of Botany (1970), Merritt Fernald can't resist telling us this is forma polymerum of our common trillium. He does wind up telling us that this is, "Our handsomest, most fickle and sporting species, with many scores of aberrant forms described, these belonging more to the field of teratology than to taxonomy!" All those past students of Trilliums struggled to descibe those many forms, but should have just said this results from a mycoplasm infection. Disappointment is the right reaction when you see this evidence of the Trillium's struggle to survive and reproduce despite being very, very ill.