As a little girl, the wild violets, the trillium, and the columbines were my favorite wildflowers. Thank heaven that we never really do grow up and away from reverencing the tiny gifts from Nature.
There is a trout stream about six miles from our home. My family fished at this stream all through the years and still do. After my daddy died, it was to this trout stream that I went for comfort. Don't ask me why, but I felt he was there.
I've done a bit of research on these precious wildflowers, and studies show that their seeds are typically dispersed by ants. Ant dispersal is the result of an oil-rich body attached to the seed, which is high in lipids and oleic acid. The oleic acid induces corpse-carrying behavior in ants, causing them to bring the seeds to their nesting sites. As ants visit several colonies of the plant, they bring genetically variable seeds back to a single location, which later results in a new population of more biologically-fit flowers.
The white-tailed deer like to eat trillium, will digest the seeds, and later disperse them through defecation. A deer will eat the larger plants, leaving the shorter ones behind, and this information is used to assess deer density and its effect on plant growth in general.
In 1986, the Ohio General Assembly declared the white trillium to be Ohio's official wildflower. They selected this little flower, because it grows in all of Ohio's 88 counties.
These little spring flowers symbolize the early arrival of robins, and that's why they're also called "Wake-Robin." They have a long history of use by the Native Americans for medicinal purposes. And, they are the provincial flower of Ontario, Canada.