A few weeks back during mid-March, my wife and I took a trip to Gulf Shores, Alabama. While the primary objective was to spend some time at the beach, soak up some sun, and and enjoy the ocean, my eyes are always scanning the vegetation, looking for the next rarity. I love the south. Alabama is one of my favorite places to botanize. We weren't there long before stumbling upon some rarities.
Conradina canescans, known in the vernacular as false rosemary, is a federally endangered species and a sand dune specialist. We found these plants growing near the entrance to a bike trail and found them irregularly scattered along the trail. Later that night we found plants at the edge of a trashy woods next to our campground facing the Perdido Bay.
Our campsite on the Perdido Bay at daybreak
The real highlight of the trip was the discovery of a large population of Trillium decipiens. I have seen this species in the wild before, but this population was one of the most variable I have yet found. These plants were found in a hardwood forest remnant; many thousands of them could be found in a relatively small area.
Some of the plants to be found here were simply incredible and some of the most beautiful Trilliums to seen. You just never now what you might find when driving the dirt backroads of southern Alabama.
A typical form of T. decipiens
A beautiful form of T. decipiens with with narrow leaves and a slightly different variegation pattern
This is a simply incredible banana-yello flowered version of T. decipiens. I have wanted to see such a plant since I was a teenager
Much more on spring flowering to come...