A Pacific Northwest Trillium in bloom at the UW’s Arboretum

The showy flower of the Trillium caught my eye as I walked through the woods at the Univeristy of Washington's Arboretum. (G. Thomas Bancroft)

The showy flower of the Trillium caught my eye as I walked through the woods at the Univeristy of Washington’s Arboretum. (G. Thomas Bancroft)

I was excited to spot a Trillium under a tree on the hill to the east side of Azalea Way in the UW Arboretum.   This sighting flooded me with fond memories of searching for Trilliums in Pennsylvania with my mother and sisters.  Finding this showy 3-petal flower confirms that spring is here and we can rejoice that more flowers are on their way.  For them everything is in threes; petals and leaves.  My family use to take long walks through the hollow on our farm to look for Trilliiums and see what other flowers might be coming soon.  Seeing this flower in Seattle was wonderful for me.  The Pacific Northwest’s Trillium is larger than Trilliums in western Pennsylvania.  The plant I saw was 18-20 inches tall and the flower was at least 2 inches across.  This one was starting to show a little pink in the middle indicating that it had been open for a while.  They gradually develop some pink as they age.  One-flower blooms each year on an individual plant and it is really a beauty.  White-tailed Deer in the east have really decimated trilliums.   Deer repeatedly eat them to the ground and eventually the plants die.  It looks like trilliums are doing well at the arboretum.

The Pacific Northwest Trillium is common in woods throughout western Washington and Oregon.  I saw a number of others as I strolled through the Arboretum. Look for them in the next few weeks if you are out enjoying wildlands.

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