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In Context #17 (Fall, 2007, pp. 6-7); copyright 2007 by The Nature Institute

Purple Trillium (Trillium erectum)
Reinout Amons

During our 11-week spring course last year, each student had an independent observation project. Reinout Amons, a "freshly" retired associate professor of biochemistry in the Netherlands, came to the course with a passion for plants. He decided to do a study of the members of the lily family that grow in the woods neighboring The Nature Institute. Reinout spent many hours following the development of about ten different species in this family. He did drawings and took photographs. Here are some of his observations—presented in words and images—of one species, purple trillium (Trillium erectum). CH

unfolding trillium unfolding trillium unfolding trillium

Figures 1, 2, and 3

Starting in early spring, in the first week of April, while most trees still showed their bare wintery appearance, I began studying the emergence and subsequent development of plants belonging to the lily family. I continued observing until the middle of June, when the canopy of the forest trees had reached its maximal expansion. The area observed most thoroughly was a forest across the valley from The Nature Institute. From the banks of the Aga