white trillium - ROM2004_1276_7


white trillium

Geography: Canada, Ontario
Date: Acquired by the Museum in 1995 AD
    • Attributes
    • Objects
    • Taxonomy
    • KingdomPlantae
    • PhylumMagnoliophyta
    • ClassMagnoliopsida
    • OrderLiliales
    • FamilyMelanthiaceae
    • GenusTrillium
    • SpecificEpithetgrandiflorum
Object number: ROMBOT_IM_8074
Credit Line: Mary Ferguson, FPSA
Not on view
DescriptionThe white trillium (Trillium grandiflorum) became Ontario’s provincial floral emblem in 1937. As the flowers age, they gradually turn pink. Trilliums are named for their three conspicuous petals (tri = three). A carpet of white trilliums is a typical spring scene in the rich hardwood forests of eastern North America, including those of southern Ontario. Although large colonies of trilliums still occur, their populations have been substantially reduced due to loss of habitat—the removal of forests for farming and urban development—as well as trampling and picking. Trilliums are one of many woodland wildflowers that complete their life cycle early in the spring then their leaves and shoots die back, and the plants persist for the rest of the year on nutrient energy stored in underground organs such as rhizomes, corms, or bulbs. Such plants are referred to as spring ephemerals—a reference to their brief appearance early in the growing season. They begin to grow from their underground stems as soon as temperatures warm in the spring and emerge above ground before the trees have leafed out. In this way they can take advantage of the light that reaches the forest floor before the forest canopy closes. There are four species of trilliums found in Ontario.
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