Montana Outdoors

April 18, 2013

April 18th ~ Trilliums

On April 18th in 2008 I found a place along the Munson Creek trail where Trilliums abound and I’ve visited that place on April 18th every year since. Usually they are in full bloom but today, although they were plentiful, they have just begun their bloom and the flowers are quite small. At that elevation (3,400 feet) small patches of snow still remain on the ground. After photographing a few of the trilliums I hiked on up the trail to 4,100 feet where winter is still in full season and spring is still in the future.

Western White trillium, Pacific Trillium, Wake Robin, Birthroot

Western White trillium, Pacific Trillium, Wake Robin, Birthroot

Western White trillium, Pacific Trillium, Wake Robin, Birthroot

Western White trillium, Pacific Trillium, Wake Robin, Birthroot

Western White trillium, Pacific Trillium, Wake Robin, Birthroot

Western White trillium, Pacific Trillium, Wake Robin, Birthroot

Western White trillium, Pacific Trillium, Wake Robin, Birthroot, Trillium Ovatum

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26 Comments »

  1. I am speechless. Your photos are something which I cannot describe – so wonderful. My wife also was dumbfounded. It is always a great joy to come to Your blog to see what wonders You have presented.

    Comment by Sartenada — April 18, 2013 @ 11:21 pm

    • Thanks Matti! The flowers in these photos live in an area that has no roads and has never been exploited by logging or mining or anything else. They are along a narrow trail that was made in the 1930′s to enable rangers to get to a fire lookout and it is still maintained for hiker and horsemen, although very few take horses up it any more. It is always amazing to see in places like that what the world looked like long before “civilization” changed everything.

      Comment by montucky — April 19, 2013 @ 9:17 pm

  2. Just beautiful!

    Comment by Jo Woolf — April 18, 2013 @ 11:58 pm

    • Thanks Jo. I think I have more photos of Trilliums than anything else.

      Comment by montucky — April 19, 2013 @ 9:17 pm

  3. Very sharp and clear photos. Everything fresh. So it seems like spring is slower to come this year, according to your record-keeping. It’s slow here too.

    Comment by wordsfromanneli — April 19, 2013 @ 12:08 am

    • Yes they are fresh… kept on ice! There was a little snow around them and these are just the earliest ones to bloom. There are leaves and stalks shooting up through the snow. At this elevation things seem to be a week or two later than usual. About a mile up the trail and 700 feet above these was the snow line.

      Comment by montucky — April 19, 2013 @ 9:20 pm

  4. I hope to see a trillium sometime, they are beautiful.

    Comment by bentehaarstad — April 19, 2013 @ 2:24 am

  5. Beautiful! I saw some with buds yesterday but haven’t seen any blooms yet.

    Comment by New Hampshire Gardener — April 19, 2013 @ 4:27 am

    • Interesting. Your other plants were quite a bit ahead of ours. I wonder if the exact time of blooming is related to moisture levels in the soil.

      Comment by montucky — April 19, 2013 @ 9:43 pm

      • That could be. It’s been dry here over the past week. We saw some rain last night so maybe that helped convince a few plants that they should bloom. The trout lillies are also holding back.

        Comment by New Hampshire Gardener — April 20, 2013 @ 6:21 am

        • The glacier lilies here seem to be holding back too. I’ve seen them appearing sporadically, but not in droves as they usually do when they start to bloom.

          Comment by montucky — April 20, 2013 @ 8:04 am

  6. In some places, Winter is taking its own sweet time leaving.

    Comment by knightofswords — April 19, 2013 @ 6:20 am

    • Yes. The mid-west is still getting hit pretty hard. Seems the storms lately touch the west coast, jump over us and freeze everything in the middle.

      Comment by montucky — April 20, 2013 @ 8:17 pm

  7. Your trilliums give us a thrillium! I can’t believe it’s been a year since they last appeared here – or maybe 10 or 11 months. I’m not sure how long they’re in season. In any event, they’re beautiful, and such a pleasure to see.

    Comment by shoreacres — April 19, 2013 @ 10:46 am

    • They have become a sort of benchmark of spring here for me. They will be around for maybe a month, at different elevations. There were even a few buds of blue clematis at the lower elevations already too.

      Comment by montucky — April 19, 2013 @ 9:47 pm

  8. Fabulous! I have yet to find trilliums in the wild…my quest continues.

    Comment by dhphotosite — April 19, 2013 @ 1:42 pm

    • I hope you find some! They like to be near a stream where they get extra moisture in the air, possible even some spray from the water. Don’t like full sun.

      Comment by montucky — April 19, 2013 @ 9:49 pm

  9. Gorgeous. So beautiful. I love being able to see the irridescence on their petals…

    Comment by Teresa Evangeline — April 19, 2013 @ 5:31 pm

    • I find them to be very pleasant flowers, one of my favorites. Perhaps too I like where they grow.

      Comment by montucky — April 19, 2013 @ 9:53 pm

  10. Such beautiful detail. I especially like #3 with the shadows. How cool that you and the trilliums have a 4/18 tradition.

    Comment by Candace — April 20, 2013 @ 10:38 pm

    • I was a little disappointed this year that they weren’t in full bloom yet, but that’s the way it goes. It’s a rather hard hike up to where they are. I liked the light on # 3 too. There was just a brief minute of sun on it and I got the shot.

      Comment by montucky — April 20, 2013 @ 11:50 pm

  11. These photos are gorgeous (and so is the flower). This is the third time I’ve tried to comment (power to the house just cut out this time!) You can see I really like this – I had to come back again to comment! :)

    Comment by Val — April 23, 2013 @ 3:40 pm

    • They are among my favorites. They are quite large for wildflowers and I like their simple elegance.

      Comment by montucky — April 23, 2013 @ 8:55 pm

  12. Trilliums have just started to bloom here in Ohio- these are gorgeous!

    Comment by Watching Seasons — April 25, 2013 @ 8:22 pm

    • I saw more Trilliums on another trail today, but they were just barely beginning to bloom. It has been a confusing spring for all of our plants.

      Comment by montucky — April 25, 2013 @ 9:41 pm


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