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

Habitat for Humanity North Island wants to keep momentum going

Organization asks City of Campbell River for more land to build homes for young families

28 townhouses on the way to 525 Dogwood

Council approves latest phase of development, but not before expressing traffic concerns

Diver discovers possible historic anchor off Campbell River

The rusted, barnacle-encrusted anchor was wedged into the bottom off Quadra Island… Continue reading

Leigh wants Strathcona Regional District budget amended over water rates

Area D Director cites punitive water rates as a reason to slow down process

Cold weather puts pressure on homeless shelters in Campbell River

Salvation Army and Sobering Centre offer a total of 40 beds

Trudeau’s principal secretary, Gerald Butts, resigns amid SNC-Lavalin furor

Butts categorically denies the accusation that he or anyone else in the PMO improperly pressured former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould

Lost a ring? This B.C. man will find it for you

Chris Turner founded The Ring Finders, an international directory of metal detector hobbyists

Poverty coalition has high hopes for B.C. poverty reduction strategy

Funding allocation expected to be released with 2019 budget

‘How did we get here?’: B.C. mom of transplant recipient worries about measles outbreaks

Addison, 7, cannot get a live vaccine because she has a heart transplant

Steelhead LNG stops work on Kwispaa LNG project near Bamfield

Huu-ay-aht First Nations ‘deeply disappointed; Steelhead says funding is the problem

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh calls for public inquiry over SNC-Lavalin questions

Vancouver member of Parliament Jody Wilson-Raybould resigned from cabinet last week

Canadian airlines waiting for guidance from Ottawa over X gender option

Major U.S. airlines said they will change their process so passengers can identify themselves along non-binary lines

Moose Hide campaign takes message to Canadian schools

Campaign launches new K-12 education platform

‘Violent’ B.C. man wanted on Canada-wide warrant

Prince George man with ties to Vernon sought by police

Most Read