Back to Ohio for another trillium. This one is sessile trillium, or toadshade, Trillium sessile. I suppose one might find a little toad hiding from the sun beneath the broad leaves. Or maybe the mottled leaves are supposed to look like a toad. But that doesn't help much when you discover many mottle species as I did in Alabama. Sure glad we had a local wildflower enthusiast with us to help with names on that trip.
Until my trip to Alabama in the spring a couple of years ago, I did not appreciate how many similar trilliums there are with mottled leaves and dark red flowers. I think I would remember the differences next time I find some in the woods.
The similar ones I'm likely to find in the north are toadshade and prairie trillium. I've seen both, but don't have a picture of the prairie one. The big difference is that toadshade has broad leaves that don't narrow to the attachment point. That's easy to remember- they make better shade for that toad! The sepals on toadshade often remain upright with the petals (just not on this particular one), but on prairie trillium they curve strongly downward- between the leaves even, so that they sort of hug the stem. That's distinctive.
Now I want to go find more trilliums!
But not tonight. I slept poorly last night (no reason I can think of), and work was long and hard. Headed to bed really soon because Friday is... well... longer and harder.
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