Tuesday, September 30, 2014

100 Species to Know by Sight - #3 Large-flowered Trillium

The next entry on my list of 100 species that every kid (and adult) in Mid-Michigan should be able to identify by sight is the Large-flowered Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum).  Trilliums in gerneral are easy to identify - they have flowers with three petals and three sepals (the green parts at the base of the flower) and each plant has three petals. 

Large-flowered Trillium - note the parts in threes (petals, sepals, and leaves)

The Large-flowered Trillium has the largest flowers of the ten Trillium species found in Michigan.  The petals are white but fade to pink as they age.  Individual flowers may be up to 5 1/2 inches across.  This species is also known as Common Trillium and can be found in every single county of Michigan.

Large-flowered Trillium is capable of forming dense colonies.  However, it rarely does because it is a favorite food of White-tailed Deer.

A colony of Large-flowered Trillium

Rarely, this plant will have partly or wholly green flowers - this occurs when the plant has been infected with a mycoplasma (a type of bacteria that lacks a cell wall)

Large-flowered Trillium with a mycoplasma infection

For information on the Large-flowered Trillium, please check out this species profile from April 2013.

To see the previous species on my list of 100 Species to Know by Sight look here.

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