Trout Lilies and Trilliums, Tra La!
So these past few days Judy and I have been staying with friends who live outside of Baltimore. On Friday we had an expedition to the Mt. Cuba Center near Wilmington, Delaware. This is a sort of botanical garden dedicated to the native plants of the Mid-Atlantic region.
There’s lots from Mt. Cuba to show you, but for this post I’d like to focus on the Trout Lilies and Trilliums. These are, to my mind, the most glamorous of the North American woodland ephemerals. Seeing so many at the same time in the same place was a rare treat.
Anyway, we got to the Mt. Cuba Center when the spring ephemerals were just a few days away from their peak. There were masses of Yellow Trout Lily (Erythronium americanum). In a few spots we also saw patches of White Trout Lily (E. albidum).
The Trout Lilies mixed really beautifully with the other woodland wildflowers. Here’s Yellow Trout Lily with False Rue Anemone (Enemion biternatum). Trout Lily supposedly got its name from the speckled leaves, which reminded some people of trout. This makes me wonder if there used to be green trout in the olden days.
And here’s Yellow Trout Lily with a flower that looks like Sharp Lobed Hepatica (H. acutiloba), but the leaves are all wrong. Can anybody help with ID? And I should add here that ID corrections are also more than welcome.
And now to the Trilliums. Here a patch of Great White Trillium (T. grandiflorum), arguably the most beautiful species in the genus. These are just the beginning, however.
These are some Toad Lilies (T. sessile) – perhaps not the classiest of common names. The Mt. Cuba Center has a great many Trillium species, including a whole garden devoted primarily to Trilliums. Many of the species were not yet in bloom.
This is Red Trillium, (T. erectum) also called Stinking Benjamin because it has an unpleasant odor. I have to wonder why it is called erectum (meaning erect), given that it is a nodding flower. It was once used to treat gangrene, but not erectile problems (as far as we know).
Least Trillium (T. pusillum) is a rare Trillium, considered endangered in a number of states. I really like the wavy petals that have a slight hint of pink. The leaves seem quite unusual for this genus.
Finally, here is Nodding Trillium (T. cernuum). According to Wildflower.org, the Mt. Cuba Center is the only garden in the country where this flower is on display.
Much more from the Mt. Cuba Center in my next post!