Monday, April 21, 2008

More North Coast Wonders.

Trillium Ovatum, or Western Wake Robin

Clarisa nominated the Trillium for a north coast wonder, so here's what I know about them. First there is a Wake Robin and then there is a Trillium that grows on the North Coast.

The Wake Robin is a member of the Trillium family and can be recognised by the fact that the flower blooms above the three leaves of the main plant. It appears to leap up at you. The blossom blooms a virginal white color, then as the blossom ages it turns a bright scarlet maroon color, like the virgin was made to blush.

I took two photo's with my cell-phone of the wake Robins under the Redwoods in lower Redway for this post, but the photo didn't do them justice, but you can tell the older blossoms from their deep red color. As they age, three little leaves grow under the blossom.



Never, ever pick a Wake Robin. As you can easily see, if you pick the wake robin leaves and all the plant will not have any source of nutrients, and it will either die, or be seriously set back and may not bloom again for a few years. If you absolutely must pick one, pick only the flower. But, it is much too beautiful to destroy.

This is a bed of Redwood Sorrel being invaded by the cursed English Ivy. I took the photo in lower Redway where someone long ago decided that it would look nice to have some English Ivy growing. Now it will probably choke out the beautiful sorrel plant.

Redwood sorrel is called Oxalis oregena by the newcomers, I kinda get a kick out of that... calling Redwood Sorrel Oxalis Oregena, Like Oregon has Redwood trees!

Redwood sorrel grows in great mats beneath the redwood trees in the deep shade. it is most beautiful in April and may.















If you pick a stem of sorrel and taste it, it tastes like rhubarb. I've been told that sorrel is toxic, but I'm not dead, and I've chewed a lot of it. They say the leaves of rhubarb are also toxic. maybe they have the same poison in them, ya' think?












And this is the rare and beautiful trillium. I've only found them at higher elevations on the north side of a hill in timber. Usually near a spring. I really don't know their habitat I only know where I've found them. See how the flower grows right out of the three leaves? And they are larger than the Wake Robin. Again don't pick them!

12 comments:

Kym said...

Ernie, I appreciated your description of the differences between WakeRobin and Trilliums. I've always had trouble figuring out what is what.

ben said...

Ernie, I had the Trilliums in my yard up Salmon Creek near Kym's place. Do you know the scientific name?

Ernie Branscomb said...

I believe they are called Trillium albidum ? As someone, like yourself, that sees everything, you've probably noticed several different varieties of trillium. Like the little bitty yellow ones that we didn't have a name for, other than "Those little-bitty yellow trilliums".

There are many domestic trilliums and they seem to cross breed well.

You seem to have found trilliums in a place like I described, in higher elevations. Could you tell me what the place was like where they grew?

Ernie Branscomb said...

Ben, I moved your coment up here also:
Ben said...
The new owners of the Peg House down by Leggett have a remarkable display of nature guides. Really serious stuff and an astonishing array for a little shop. Not the lower prices of the books at One Log House, but some specialized books I have never found in large stores. I bought a guide to truffles! Great sandwiches as well. I try to stop every time I go by and give them some support.

Ernie said...
Thanks Ben, Janis is putting a "Local Book Shelf" in the Branscomb center. She has all of Diane Hawkes book some of Ray Raphael, the high school book. and she is looking for other books with local focus.

She wants anything by a local author, or anything about the local area. Especially any that that has to do with local history. Bring us your lists of what you would like to see on the shelf, and we will do our best to put them there. As always, you can come in and read our books anytime. We have "Demo" copies. Or if you want to buy you can.

Kym said...

The Trilliums up in Salmon Creek tend to grow in heavily shaded damp areas (though not just by creeks) most are on the side of hills but not all.

Robin Shelley said...

Thanks for the info on trillium & Wake Robin, Ernie. I always feel like I've found treasure whenever I see them!
As for sorrel, I believe it's the oxalic acid in it that's toxic but you'd have to eat an impossibly lot of it if suicide was your intention. You'd want to eat rhubarb leaves for that. Also, I think sorrel contains a lot of vitamin C & was one of several "scurvy grasses" used by sailors way back when. Tastes kind of like watercress to me.

Robin Shelley said...

P.S. Nice pictures, by the way.

ben said...

Ernie, The Rhode's book on Humboldt Redwoods State Park is a good one. Ray Raphael's books are still available and excellent. Mary Anderson's books are available, I believe. She has done some great historical research.
The USAL Forest expo at the Mateel last night was really interesting. The idea that these 50,000 acres can be eventually used for community developed industries and employment is pretty compelling. Art Harwood did a good job of running the show. This could be really big if it works.

Ernie Branscomb said...

I wish that I had known about the meeting, I would have gone. Does it sound viable?

Ernie Branscomb said...

I wish that I had known about the meeting, I would have gone. Does it sound viable?

ben said...

I can't begin to explain the whole deal without pages of text. It has a rather marvelous aspect in that they expect to sell the conservation easement to the State for as much as 30 million! Pretty cool, huh?The timber inventory is 6,000 board feet an acre. In other words, there's not much left. That's 300 million, right? the cut is 2.9% per year...so 8,700,000 bf per year. There are lots of other angles and ideas It is very interesting. They have to deal with a massive Tan Oak situation.
i guess firewood is not viable but I'm not sure. They have a Ft Bragg meeting coming up but there will be many others. So what would you do with 50,000 acres of heavily logged land? Art has been shut down out at Branscomb and it was weird to see no activity when I went by on Tuesday. He says he'll start up soon. Good news.

Robin Shelley said...

Ben,
Who owns Usal now?
Thanks.