All Trillium spp. are myrmecochorous (see yesterday's post for discussion of myrmecochory), spring ephemeral, herbaceous perennials with thick rhizomes, and also display the distinctive sets of three in their morphology which make the trilliums so recognizable. There is a popular theory that Trillium spp. seeds have been dispersed wide distances (post-glacial expansion) by deer herbivory; I would comment only that deer herbivory and myrmecochory shouldn't generally go hand-in-hand as dispersal mechanisms, as myrmecochory is metabolically expensive and we would expect an advantage to the loss of this dispersal system if an alternative were available to the plant.
T. grandiflorum is the provincial flower of Ontario. It is primarily bee-pollinated and its seeds ant-dispersed.
|T. grandiflorum in Gatineau Park|
|T. grandiflorum - with distinctive sets of 3 (leaves, sepals, petals)|
|T. grandiflorum flower|
|T. erectum flower with distinctive sets of 3|
|T. erectum flower|