Friday, May 7, 2010
FSO Things You Love To Touch
How do you touch a Province? A geographic area 354,341.8 sq mi in size, with 250,000 lakes and over 100,000 kilometres (62,000 mi) of rivers? Even if you love it, how do you embrace it?
It can only be done symbolically. And it can only be done in the spring.
Because it is only in the spring that the trillium, the symbol of Ontario blooms, and then only briefly.
While it is a popular belief that it is illegal to pick the common Trillium grandiflorum (white trillium) in Ontario, in reality they are only protected in provincial parks and land owned by conservation authorities. However, the rare Trillium flexipes (drooping trillium) is protected by law in Ontario, because of its very small Canadian population.
Trillium is one of many plants whose seeds are spread by ants. At maturity, the base and core of the trillium ovary turns soft and spongy. Trillium seeds have a fleshy organ called an elaiosome that attracts ants. The ants extract the seeds from the decaying ovary and take them to their nest, where they eat the elaiosomes and put the seeds in their garbage, where they germinate in a rich growing medium.
Of course there are other wild flowers, and there are rocks and grasses and trees, but it is only by reaching out and touching the soft delicate petals of the trillium that you truly touch the soul of a Province