In the midwest, there is a fifth season between winter and spring, when everything seems to be in limbo for about a month. The temperatures rise above freezing point, but it’s not warm enough for any serious vegetation to spring up.
This is the time for the courageous, and one of them is the snow trillium. It typically blooms in early March, earlier than all other native wild flowers.
It enjoys steep limestone slopes facing south.
When I went looking today at one of my favorite wildflower spots, the Cedar Bluffs Nature Preserve in Indiana, it didn’t look good. Apparently one day of intermittent warming last week had lured the trilliums into growth, and they were than hit by a hopefully final wave of sub zero temperatures and snow. The result is not pretty.
Luckily, trilliums are very resilient where they like it. They will be back next year, courageous as always.
Update: The image above is not that of a dead snow trillium, but rather of a hepatica plant. More about this in a later post.