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Trollius laxus
Trollius laxus
Trollius laxus subspecies albiflorus.
Synonym
:
Trollius albiflorus  (Globe Flower).
Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family).

Subalpine. Wetlands, openings, meadows. Spring, summer.
Sharkstooth Trail, July 18, 2005.

Globe Flowers give us practice in seeing things for what they really are.  You stand in an extensive patch of Marsh Marigolds and after gazing at them in awe, you become aware that some of them do not look quite like Marsh Marigolds.  That’s because they are not.  A few Globe Flowers often grow in the extensive Marsh Marigold fields. 

But we can see significant differences in the two species if we just take the time to observe closely: Globe Flower’s leaves are palmate and cut deeply; Marsh Marigold leaves are typically broadly oblong and entire. Globe Flower typically is about 1 1/2 times taller than Marsh Marigold. Sepals and petals provide further distinctions between Globe Flower and Marsh Marigold: Globe Flower has 5-9 cream-to-white, petal-like sepals and 15-25 inconspicuous (only about 5 millimeters long and 1 millimeter wide), yellow, petals that closely surround the stamens. Marsh Marigold has 8-10, white (blue-streaked on the back), petal-like sepals, but no petals.

Despite all these differences it is still easy enough to confuse the two species.

Trollius laxus begins flowering when only four or five inches tall and the flower stalk elongates, often reaching 15-24 inches.  Plants in fruit can reach 30 inches.

"Troll" is Latin for "globe" and "lax" is Latin for "loose".

Weber places Trollius in Helleboraceae, not Ranunculaceae.

Trollius laxus
Trollius laxus subspecies albiflorus.
Synonym
:
Trollius albiflorus  (Globe Flower).
Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family).

Subalpine. Wetlands, openings, meadows. Spring, summer.
Sharkstooth Trail, July 18, 2005.

Linnaeus named this genus in 1753.  Asa Gray first named the species Trollius laxus variety albiflorus in 1862 and Rydberg  renamed it Trollius albiflorus in 1900.

Trollius laxus

Trollius laxus

Trollius laxus

 

 

 

 

 

Trollius laxus subspecies albiflorus.
Synonym
:
Trollius albiflorus  (Globe Flower).
Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family).

Subalpine. Wetlands, openings, meadows. Spring, summer.
Pass Creek Trail, Engineer Mountain, August 2, 2005.

Trollius laxus flower petals turn an unusual light brown and curl as they age and seed heads develop. 

 

 






Trollius laxus
leaves are deeply cut and then cut again.

 

 

 









Trollius laxus
is rhizomatous, i.e., it sends out thickened, lateral roots that often give rise to new plants.  Thus plants often grow in small colonies. 

 

Look for Trollius laxus at high altitudes in moist meadows and open forests.

Trollius laxus
Trollius laxus subspecies albiflorus.
Synonym
:
Trollius albiflorus  (Globe Flower).
Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family).

Subalpine. Wetlands, openings, meadows. Spring, summer.
Sharkstooth Trail, July 18, 2005.

Gone to seed.

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Range map for Trollius laxus

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