Like how much Bumbles like lavender.
|Carpenter Bee visiting 'Senorita Rosalita'®|
But, yesterday topped even those delights when I found seed pods on Trillium cuneatum, one of my favorite Clay and Limestone endemic ephemerals. It's gratifying to know that the conditions were perfect for these plants to do their thing~Flower, reproduce and along the way provide food for critters and enjoyment for the gardener.
|earlier this spring Trillium cuneatum flower is ready for pollination by fruit flies|
It worked! In a few weeks the pod will ripen and the weakened and decaying stem will topple over, the pod will split open and the ants and other critters* will arrive to feast on the fleshy elaiosome that covers each seed. Some will be eaten in place but, a few seeds will be carried to the nest where the left over seed will be dumped in their trash heap. This garbage rich midden is a good growing medium where trillium offspring might germinate.
|Trillium cuneatum offspring starts with a single leaf|
* Trillium are one of many woodland plants whose seeds are dispersed by ants and other critters. This process is called myrmecochory. Try using that one in a sentence today!
Often the the work of researchers goes unrecognized or uncredited. Please check out this study on other critters that aid in trillium seed disbursement.
Gail Eichelberger is a gardener and therapist in Middle Tennessee. She loves wildflowers and native plants and thoroughly enjoys writing about the ones she grows at Clay and Limestone." She reminds all that the words and images are the property of the author and cannot be used without written permission.