Mariton: In Blossom

April 12, 2012

by Tim Burris, Preserve Manager

Yesterday, I noticed that the White Trilliums (Trillium grandiflorum) had poked up along the Woods Trail.  This morning, one was already blossoming, and more had buds.  The lemon-scented Trillium on the Main Trail is also flowering.  It is amazing that they are blooming this early in April.  Then again, woodland wildflowers have a narrow window of operation.  Blossoming and setting seeds takes a lot of energy – energy provided by the sun, and converted through photosynthesis.  With trees beginning to leaf out, sunlight on the forest floor will soon be the limiting factor for many of these flowers. 

Mayapples (Podophyllum pelatum) have been up for a couple weeks.  I have seen a few flower buds, but no blossoms yet.  Mayapples like Mariton’s soils.  They form a ground cover in many areas, even in the meadows.  This patch is growing on the South Fox Trail. 

Early Saxifrage (Saxifraga virginiensis) is blossoming in the North Fox Trail.  I like this little unassuming wild flower.  It comes up around the same time as the Hepatica and Bloodroot, but stays in bloom for much longer.