The South Cumberland Regional Land Trust trip to Bluebell Island today was a great success. The bluebells are just opening up. A few are in full bloom. The next week promises a fine display.
Some favorite species:
Two rare dwarf trillium were in bloom:
…these two plants are the only ones known to exist anywhere around here.
Delicious blooms. Pollinators, do your work. Seeds needed.
Also present were both white and yellow trout lilies, growing side by side. Genetic incompatibility keeps them from interbreeding, even if pollen gets mixed up by the work of insouciant bees.
White trout lily: Erythronium albidum
Yellow trout lily: Erythronium americanum
Thank you, South Cumberland Regional Land Trust, for keeping this botanical treasure thriving.
I’m happy to report that the Least (or Dwarf) Trillium (Trillium pusillum) that I feared had been dug up by the plant poachers (as an incidental effect of bluebell thieving) has escaped the spade for another year.
My Ornithology class looked down from the skies today and admired some of the wildflowers on Bluebell Island. The Least Trillium was in bloom. Hooray! The species is classified as endangered in Tennessee, so every plant matters. There is only one other location known for the species in our county.
Note that the annual land trust hike to the island is this weekend. (I’ll be out of town and will have to miss the event.) Land trust volunteer leaders will be on hand to help people across the log to the island (a fun challenge) and to point out interesting plants.
Thanks to Will Coleman and his iPhone for this shot.
Over the winter I had some new signs made for the island. A few weeks ago Sanford McGee, Joseph Bordley, Bran Potter, and Bob Salter joined me in a little expedition to put them up. Hopefully the message is clear and people will leave the plants in place: