Happily yesterday walking the Buckeye Trail I encountered many Trout Lily. This little guy intrigued me. Looking as through he is hiding his face from the world, in reality his face is already uncovered facing downward. Botanical terms sepal, tepal and petal mixed in my mind as I tried to discern just how this plant was unfolding.
Let’s talk some terms. A sepal is the part of the flower that typically covers the bud, the protective outer part of the flower (often green). The next layer or whorl is typically the petals, but sometimes the plants sepals and petals are difficult to tell apart (as with the Trout Lily). Three of these are petals and three of these sepals, when it is difficult to tell them apart they are called tepals!
So based on that, I think what we are seeing here is the sepals in their final stage of opening. Very cool!