Field of Science

Friday Fabulous Flower

Things are just a bit crazy right now, so seeing an old friend emerge from winter dormancy is rather comforting.  This week is the University's official spring break, and having got most of the students off campus, the powers that be decided to keep them away by extending spring break a week, during which time everyone is supposed to somehow switch to online education.  The advocates of this are certainly not familiar with either hands-on labs or field type courses.  Oh, "if we want students to see something, we show them a picture".  The failure to know the difference between "see" and "observe" has never been more obvious.  There are times it's good to be retired.  
Ah well, back to old friends, out in the woodland portion of our gardens the first real wildflower to appear is the snow Trillium (Trillium nivale), the smallest trillium perhaps in North America.  The flower at about 1 inch in diameter is huge in comparison to the tiny whorl of three leaves.  It would be easy to miss this plant if you were just walking around, but TPP knows where it was planted.  March flowering (the 8th) is nothing new to this plant, having flowered earlier 4 times since it was planted in the fall of 2011. Once it even flowered in late February.  It doesn't like being buried under a thick layer of leaves since it is a pretty small shoot.  In the wild this species tends to grow on slopes.  

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