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Archive 2010 · Red Trillium Oddity?
  
 
chemprof
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Red Trillium Oddity?


On an outing with my photo class we discovered a forest floor covered with red trilliums (see sample below). This is not a shining example of photography, but I wondered if anyone has ever seen anything like this. Look at the second image. This does appear to be a red trillium, but has six flower petals and two sets of three leaves.

Anybody seen anything like this before? Is this really a trillium?

Thanks!

Gerald

P.S. These two flowers were less than six feet from one another.



Apr 21, 2010 at 02:41 AM
Migara
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Red Trillium Oddity?


Couple of nice shots, tighter crop would've been better!


Apr 21, 2010 at 11:24 AM
Dennis Dietz
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Red Trillium Oddity?


Very interesting. I do not see any sepals (caylx), the whorl of three greener "petals" seen in the first under the true petals.

Usually when a flower does this it is a sign of triploidy, a situation where one or more chromosomes, instead of dividing normally during meiosis, fail to divide, giving the offspring a third copy of that/those chromosomes. In humans, Down's syndrome is an example of triploidy. In plants, this is actually very common and often "harmless" though natural selection might act upon the triploid individual in one direction of the other. Most cultivated flowers with lots of petals are examples of this, roses (should only have 5 petals), tulips, etc.

If you have the opportunity, it would be interesting to check back later to see if the plant develops fruit. You could check back next year also to see if more plants with this character emerge. While I don't condone messing with nature, you might need to ensure that the plant self pollinates and that any fruit is not consumed by wildlife. If you really wanted to see if you could continue the trait, it would probably be best to collect some, not all, of the fruit and cultivate them at home. In this way, you would have very little influence on the natural order of this plant in that area.




Apr 21, 2010 at 02:01 PM
chemprof
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Red Trillium Oddity?


Migara wrote:
Couple of nice shots, tighter crop would've been better!


I agree - the goal, however was to get an image of the whole flower and the entire leaf for identification. For a change, I was just documenting!

Thanks!

Gerald



Apr 21, 2010 at 02:08 PM







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