Trillium Unfolding. Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California. March 3, 2012. © Copyright 2012 G Dan Mitchell - all rights reserved.
A new trillium plant emerges and begins to blossom beneath the redwood forest canopy.
With enough time to observe these plants - and a few return visits to fill in observational gaps - it is possible to see the full process of their unfolding. Though I still haven't spotted the very earliest sprouts - probably because I didn't look quite closely enough - I can spot the newly emerging plants that are about to open up and blossom. The leaves wrap around the incipient flower, and when they begin to open the appearance of the flower itself isn't far behind.
On this visit to Muir Woods National Monument I found trillium plants in all stages from tiny plants with small leaves to those that had already blossomed and even lost the flowers. A few were at this wonderful stage when the cradling outside leaves are just opening to reveal the new flower. Soon the leaves will drop and flatten to produce the familiar three-part shape and the flower will stand (or droop!) above the leaves.
G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer whose subjects include the Pacific coast, redwood forests, central California oak/grasslands, the Sierra Nevada, California deserts, urban landscapes, night photography, and more.
Text, photographs, and other media are © Copyright G Dan Mitchell (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from G Dan Mitchell.