31THE DROOPING TRILLIUM

The name trillium means “having parts in threes”.   Each plant has three green sepals, three leaves and three coloured petals.
The name trillium means “having parts in threes”. Each plant has three green sepals, three leaves and three coloured petals.
There are several features that differentiate the Drooping Trillium from other species. The flower was named due to how the flower "droops" below its leaves. This makes the flower less noticeable than the White Trillium, the provincial emblem. The Drooping Trillium is the tallest trillium species in Ontario, growing to a height of 60cm.

The Drooping Trillium is also unique in that it blooms longer than the other Ontario trilliums. The flower can be seen for 3 – 4 weeks and is whitish in colour. Some say that the flower looks "bug eyed," because the petals are opened wide, displaying the ovary in the centre of the flower. The ovary can also vary in colour from white to cream, and even sometimes maroon.

Many people believe that picking a trillium will kill it. Although picking a trillium can damage the plant, it usually does not kill it. Picking removes the leaves, which collect energy and send it to the roots, which in turn store it for the next growing season. The trillium needs enough time to store lots of energy. If the leaves are picked early in the season, the plant will not have enough energy to produce a flower the next year.

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