A Quadrium in 2018
Wes Hayward, 22 April 2018,
The middle of March is the time of year when trillium
begin to appear in the woods south of our house. By
the end of the month they are there in full force, often in beds
containing dozens of flowers, or even more.
Here are some of the trillium we see in March and
April. The flowers themselves are 2 to 4 inches
across with leaf structures that can be as much as a foot
across. Everything happens in groups of three:
3 petals, 3 small leaves under the flower, 3 much larger leaves further
below the flower. The pedals are pure white, but
turn to a lavender as they encounter more sunshine.
Some folks claim there is a lavender
Occasionally a variation occurs where the theme of three is
replaced by a plant with flowers containing four petals.
The groups of leaves also occur with four members.
This is like the four leafed clovers we sought in our
youth. (I don't think I ever did find one of
This is the mutant flower sample that I found this
year. For want of a better term, I've called them quadrium.
This photo of the flower was taken two days after the
initial shot and shows the changing color.
This is not the first quadrium I've seen, but they are
pretty rare. I think it's the 4th one in this
area in period of almost 50 years. We also saw one
several years ago while hiking in the Columbia River
1 Month Later:
We were out of town for almost a
month. I was curious to see the status of the plant
when we returned, shown in the photo above. The
flower is nothing more than four shriveled petals.
I'm amazed that there is even this much of
the flower left. But the leaves are still
there, as robust as they were in April.
Other plants are growing and will soon dominate, bringing an end
to this one.