Snow and Red Trillium

Snow Trillium

Last June I wrote a piece entitled “Chasing Rarities” and in that piece I state that Snow Trillium was know from only one location in Michigan. Later in the year I was contacted by Bill S. and informed that there were more populations. So, on April 21 Bill and his family graciously took me to and told me about more locations. The above photo was taken on the 21st at another location along the Grand River. While Trillium nivale is still the 2nd rarest Trillium in Michigan, I am pleased to learn that there are other thriving populations. Thank you, Bill and family, for your time and for sharing this information with me as I like to be as accurate as possible. I have also update the previous blog post to reflect this.

Snow Trillium in snow

Also, we have known that Trillium nivale blooms in early April each year. With 2018 being one of the coldest springs on record, I wanted to know if they would still bloom on time. While we usually say they bloom on April 4, I was not able to visit them until the 8th or four days later. Yes, there were several plants in bloom. Then on the 17th I was able to stop after being near Lansing and see them actually still blooming through the snow and ice. Again for those willing to get out early there are wildflowers to find and enjoy while most people think spring doesn’t come until May.

Red Trillium

While weather can affect when some plants bloom, many native species seem to bloom by the calendar rather than the weather. Yes, in the north with snow and ice lasting longer this year many may be a bit behind but I expect that they will catch up sooner than we think. A case in point is the Red Trillium or Trillium erectum. As I traveled north to near Traverse City on the May 15, to photograph this Trillium, both red and white were blooming nicely.
Depending on where you live, south to north will determine what you see blooming, but there is still time to get out and enjoy Michigan’s many spring wildflowers.

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