Trillium cuneatum

During a friends visit last week we happened upon this flower while walking along a path at Finch Park in Lexington, North Carolina.

At first we noticed one or two, however, after looking closer the whole hillside turned out to be covered. We both knew that this was a species of Trillium but were unaware of the exact identification. After looking it up online (Googled it!) we found that this was most likely Trillium cuneatum Raf. commonly known as Toadshade or Little Sweet Betsy. Personally my favorite name for this flower is Bloody Butcher. It’s distribution ranges across most of the Southeastern United States flowering in mid spring (early March to mid April). The plant consists of three main bracts several inches above ground mottled green and maroon in color. Flowers sit in the middle of the leaves and range in colors from maroon, maroon-purple, brownish purple, bronze, greenish purple, clear green, yellowish green, pale lemon yellow, or are even 2 colored. I will have to go back and check it out once it’s gone to fruit. The fruit is supposed to be green or have purple streaks and is ovoid in shape.

This is definitely a beautiful flower and is a great sign that spring is here and warm weather is upon us. I can’t wait to go back and look for more Trillium. According to North Carolina Native Plant Society there are 14 other trillium species in North Carolina. The one species I am hoping to see is Trillium undulatum.

References:

North Carolina Native Plants Society
http://www.ncwildflower.org/index.php/plants/details/trillium-undulatum/
United States Department of Agriculture, PLANTS Profile
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=TRCU
Flora of North America:
http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=1&taxon_id=242101987
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~ by npvbroek on 03/25/2011.

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