Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Prairie Trillium

Trillium (Trillium recurvatium)
Today while walking in the woods, I noticed that there were just a few trilliums still blooming. At Habitat Home, we only have one species of trillium, Trillium recurvatium. I would like to add more species but they are so expensive to buy. They are not that hard to grow, it is just that a plant takes about seven years before it blooms, so they are not economical for growers to raise. Trillium seeds are myrmecochorous, which means they have a mutually beneficial relationship with ants. The seeds have an edible lipid rich appendage called an elaiosome. The ants carry the seeds to their nests and eat this appendage but leave the rest of the seed unharmed and buried, ready for germination.

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