Trillia Pursuits -- and a Quiz

On my morning walk yesterday, along a dirt road much prized for recreational walking by those of us lucky enough to live around here, I saw so many lovely things in bloom or about to bloom -- Trillium, Solomon's Seal, Viola, Colombine, Thimbleberry, Paintbrush, and more -- I kept dropping behind my companions to take pictures. The light wasn't so good, so most of the pictures aren't either - I'll do another post when I can get up there in better light.

I spent most of yesterday evening trying to identify them. I think the above is Western Wake Robin, Trillium ovatum. But then I also think this is too, even though the color is different.

This is because both flowers are on a pedicel (a stem like bit) and are not sessile (directly connected to the thing they are arising from). If they were sessile then I'd go with Trillium chloropetalum. Thomas's says that's the main difference... I'm still not sure.

I'm not that knowledgeable at wildflowers and it took about 20 mins per each, working with CalFlora and Calphotos and the Jepson Flora Project - and my handy Thomas's Flora of the Santa Cruz Mountains of California - a technical guide that is always on my desk. I learn new words every time I open that book. Like "verticil" - a whorl.

This isn't gardening as such but I do wonder how many of these plants I could somehow propagate on my property! A few of these Fat Solomon's Seal (Maianthemum racemosum) would look right nice down in the shady valley behind our home.

Now here's a quiz. In the not-very-good picture below, one native bulb is about to bloom and there are one or two (or more?) other natives in the picture that I don't yet know. Maybe someone can save me a bit of time, and let me know what they are. I'll return to that spot this weekend - then I hope I'll be able to post pictures of the blooms, as well as good pictures of all the other flowers I saw.


Anonymous said…
I'm so glad there is something like botanical nomenclature!
The english/american 'Solomon's seal', seems to belong to an entirely different species/genus than our European Solomon's seal (Salomonszegel).
Our Solomon's seal are Polygonatum sp.. In Belgium, we have one native Maianthemum, namely Maianthemum bifolium, dalkruid (can be translated as 'Valley Wort', but in the UK it is called Mai lily or False lily of the valley.)
Town Mouse said…
Well, I see some ivy on the left. Mmm. Could the thing in the middle be Smilacina racemosa (False Salomon's Seal)?
No idea what the bulb might be, though.
steph said…
Hi Ms. Mouse!

I *think* your two different trilliums are merely of different ages. That is, I think the blossom on the burgundy one is older than the white one. Since you're going back, you could check. :-)
Country Mouse said…
That would make sense, Steph. It's so interesting to "key things out" even as a beginner. But it takes me so long! I'm looking forward to my return trip up the lane.

AnneTanne - when I looked into Jepson there were so many common names for Fat Solomon - I saw False Lily of the Valley there. But also the botanical name itself had recently changed - so I guess there is nothing 100% reliable. I also think of Queen Anne's Lace - one thing in the UK, and another - or many others? - in the US.

Reminds me of the olden days when Latin was the universal language of educated people.

You're probably right Ms TMouse about the False Solomon's Seal. I think I know the bulb and will reveal all tomorrow. I want to know what that single fat leaf coming out of the ground is. I have some in a pot at home and have no idea what they are. Just one leaf, that's all.