Thursday, February 9, 2012

Trout Lilies Bloom Early

Can you imagine 10 acres of forest floor covered in Yellow-dimpled Trout Lilies (Erythronium umbilicatum)? It's a reality right now at the Wolf Creek Trout Lily Preserve, the 140 acre area that boasts the largest and most concentrated occurrence of these little yellow beauties in the U.S.. Although they normally do not flower until mid to late February, an unseasonably warm winter has coaxed them into an early display that is not to be missed. Among the other rare and interesting wildflowers on the site are thousands of deep maroon Spotted Trillium (Trillium maculatum).

If you can visit the Preserve, it is highly recommended that you do so within the next week, before the blooms begin declining. It will be open to the public Saturday and Sunday, February 11 & 12. If you wish to go on another day, however, the gate is kept closed, but not locked. Visitors should wear good shoes with treads, as the terrain is a sloped hardwood forest. Those with minor mobility problems should carry a walking stick and be accompanied by an able-bodied companion. The preserve’s website,  www.wolfcreektroutlilypreserve.org, contains a wealth of information about Trout Lilies and the site's history, photographs, maps and directions, and an updated schedule of open days.

Thanks to a grant from the Georgia Land Conservation Program and the generous donations of former owners, nature groups, and other interested citizens, the Preserve was designated an official Conservation Area in 2009 by the Grady County Board of Commissioners. On Friday, Feb. 10 at noon, Dan Miller, the leader of the movement that acquired the property for conservation, will be giving a slide show and lecture about the preserve, trout lilies, other Spring wildflowers, and how to use them in the garden, at Goodwood Museum and Gardens in Tallahassee. He will also have plants for sale. Miller propagates and promotes the use of native plants in home landscapes at Trillium Gardens, a small native plant nursery in Tallahassee. For more information about Goodwood and this program, go to www.goodwoodmuseum.org.

Photos simply cannot do justice to this one-of-a-kind site.
Guest blog by Beth Grant
Edited by Laurie Sheldon
Photos by Lou Kellenberger




1 comment:

Misti said...

They were blooming early here in Texas too, the albidum species. Usually late Feb/early March, but here in early Feb they were beginning to bloom.