Ray Olson & Moonlight Macumber
Mad River Union
ARCATA – It’s a great time to take a stroll in the Arcata Community Forest because the trilliums have begun their annual bloom-a-thon, thus indicating that the Spring Equinox is near!
The earliest flowers were spotted during the first week of March, and they won’t last long. Trilliums (Trillium ovatum) are easy to notice, since each flower blossoms with three white petals that delicately rise above three leaves on a short, unbranched stem.
It’s fun to imagine that they’re little pixies or fairies hanging out on the forest floor. As the flower matures, the petal color evolves into varying shades of purple.
When admiring their beauty, please remember to maintain a social distance, because touching or picking the flower can injure or even kill this fragile native plant.
Fun fact: Did you know that ants help disperse the trillium seeds? The fruit surrounding the seed is coated in a nutritious substance which the ants transport to their nests as food for their young. The seed itself isn’t eaten, but eventually discarded as waste. And voilà!... symbiotically successful seed dispersal!
Over the next few weeks, other spring blooms will emerge within the Arcata Community Forest, including skunk cabbage (Lysichiton americanus) and Douglas iris (Iris douglasiana).
Happy forest trails!