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In my high school biology class, one of our first assignments was to gather examples of local wild plants, or “weeds” as my father called them. That was quite a bit easier to do in those days – we had a large open field just down the block from my house and “vacant lots” seemed more prevalent in suburbia at the time. The one thing that stuck with me all these years was the teacher’s prohibition against including an example of a trillium. He noted the fragility of the plant, and that picking the flower could frequently lead to the death of the underground rhizome from which the wonderful flower stalks grow. He was the kind of stern former Army man that you knew meant business.

Western White Trillium – c/o USDA Forest Service

This weekend, Lake Oswego holds its own Trillium Festival – the 42nd Annual – on Saturday from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm at Tryon Creek State Park. If you’re not familiar with these lovely woodland plants, here’s your chance to learn about one of the true gems of the Pacific Northwest. Only a half-dozen of more than 50 species are native to our part of the world, making their care an even higher priority. Their blooms are yet another hint of the arrival of Spring.