Another Mutant Trillium, a Quadrium.

Wes Hayward, March 29, 2020.   

This was a good year for Trillium flowers in the woods south of our house.     The first one I was was early on March 1.   On the 22nd I was finishing a long walk, a needed respite from the rigors of the Coronavirus pandemic of 2020, and I had stopped to marvel at an area with many flowers.    I then spotted one with a pattern that didn't seem right.   I walked into the woods to discover a mutant Trillium flower, a variation that I've been calling a Quadrium.    Essentially, it's like the normal Trillium where  everything occurs in groups of three.    The normal flower, shown below, has three peddles.   They reside above a group of three tiny leaves, itself above a group of 3 large leaves.    The usual flower peddles may be an inch or two long, making them easy to spot in a wood dominated by green.

Photo showing a couple of Trillium flowers.   They often occur in clumps.

The flower I found on March 22 had all traditional groups of three replaced by elements occurring in fours.   This is shown in the photo below.

A photo of my Quadrium of 2020.  All plant elements occur in fours.   The photo seems to show another Quadrium in the background in the upper right corner of this photo, but inspection showed to be a normal Trillium.

This is the 7th such Quadrium variation that I've seen in a period of over 50 years.      All have been in this wooded area except for one that we found while hiking in the Columbia River Gorge.     I'm sure they are fairly common, but not so much so that folks are familiar with them.    We are familiar with the four leafed clover, although I've never seen one of those.  

We all have an interest in mutations these days.    It is a
virus mutation that appeared in 2019 that has now grown to global size to become the basis for our present lifestyle.    As I understand, it is not unusual that the Corona virus has undergone mutations.   Rather, what is unusual is that this one, Covid19, has properties that harm us when presented to our lungs.   I know of nothing harmful about our Quadrium.   I don't even see other such flowers in the place where the first ones appeared, suggesting that the mutation ends with one occurrence.