Emergence

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In my previous post about snow trilliums, I had lamented this year’s demise of them due to bitter frost after a period of warm days, and documented my claim with a a picture of a plant that looked to me like a very dead trillium. Not so, as a good friend has pointed out. The dead plant was in fact a hepatica, and is back, still with brown leaves, but also with nice little white flowers. Up close:

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And, even better, the snow trilliums I had taken for dead, are out, too.

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A little curiosity today was a small patch of three snow trilliums that had pink veins. Pretty.

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Snow Trillium

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.

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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.

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It enjoys steep limestone slopes facing south.

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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.

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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.