The Western Trillium’s dinner-plate diameter showcases one solitary

ISLAND WILD: School board appeals to minister

Since ancient times, poetry, literature and mythology have been infused with references to white lilies

“Easter morn with lilies fair

Fills the church with perfumes rare.”

(Louise L. Matthews)


Since ancient times, poetry, literature and mythology have been infused with references to white lilies.

The stunning petals symbolize life, purity, and hope – Easter’s spiritual essence – while the bending golden anthers flood surroundings with sunshine.

So while florist shops brim with lilies of every stripe and hue, Mother Earth did it first, still does it best…and all for free.

On Vancouver Island, April’s wild woodlands have burst into bloom with showy Western Trilliums (Trillium ovatum) –of the lily family. A large and majestic plant, which can rise to 20-45 cm (8-20”) in height, the trillium boasts one solitary three-petalled white flower that ages to a regal magenta.

Trillium derives from the Latin for three; the plant bears leaves, petals and sepals in whorls of three, reason enough for its nickname Trinity flower. Likewise, the Latin species name ovatum refers to the trio of egg-shaped leaves.

Trilliums and ants wouldn’t normally be mentioned in the same breath, yet ants play an important role in helping trilliums proliferate across the forest floor. The flowers attract ants with their perfume, and ants then carry away the nutritious seed, to eat the oil organ containing unsaturated fatty acids. This arrangement works wonderfully well for plant and insect.

Trilliums prefer semi-shade and tend to have wet feet so look for these glorious beauties in moist forests, seepage areas or alongside streambanks and riversides.

At this time of year, fawn lilies, both white and pink, often grow alongside trilliums. This spectacular springtime species can form carpets in shaded woodlands where soil conditions are optimum.

White fawn lilies (Erythronium oregonum), while smaller than the trillium, are nevertheless great natural beauties, with six striking white petals curved upwards, and six golden stamens dangling like shiny bells.

Celebrate nature’s gift of wild lilies, now in full bloom alongside most nature trails. Campbell River area: Campbell and Quinsam River trails, Beaver Lodge Forest Lands, Simms, Willow and Nunns Creeks. Courtenay area: Puntledge River and Nymph Falls trails.


Just Posted

B.C. to move salmon farms out of coastal migration route

Broughton Archipelago plan set to start in spring of 2019

City of Campbell River transit to get some infrastructure help next year

Hint: It’s a bus pullout on Dogwood at Carihi and doubling the rate of bus shelter installation

Stranded B.C. trucker writes final wishes before being rescued 3 days later

‘I was just praying someone would come along’

Campbell River School District calls for report on buses and seat-belts

Parents have questions following expose on research around buses and safety

New wind warning for most of Vancouver Island

Forecasters are calling for strong winds up to 90km/h for some areas

REPLAY: B.C’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

Canucks score 3 power-play goals in 4-2 win over Oilers

Vancouver sniper Boeser has 6 goals in last 5 games

Microscopic parasite found in Prince Rupert water affecting thousands

More than 12,000 residents affected by the boil water advisory issued Dec. 14

Trudeau lashes out at Conservatives over migration “misinformation”

Warning against the “dangers of populism,” Trudeau says using immigration as a wedge political issue puts Canada’s future at risk.

B.C. hockey coach creates ‘gear library’ to remove cost barrier of sport

Todd Hickling gathered donations and used gear to remove the cost barrier for kids to play hockey.

Canada’s ambassador meets with second detainee in China

Global Affairs says John McCallum, Canada’s ambassador to China, met with Spavor Sunday

‘They’re coming:’ Flying cars may appear in urban skies by 2023

Air taxis will number 15,000 and become a global market worth $32 billion by 2035

B.C. VIEWS: Andrew Wilkinson on taxes, ICBC and union changes

Opposition leader sees unpredictable year ahead in 2019

5 tips for self-care, mental wellness this holiday season

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions urging British Columbians to prioritize self care through festive season

Most Read