Purple Trillium

Purple Trillium
Purple Trillium. Trillium erectum
Liliaceae, the lily family.

Plant: Purple trillium is a low plant 8"-16" tall, blooming in early spring with a single, three-petaled dark-red flower rising from whorl of three leaves. Typically several units grow together. Perennial, rising from rootstock each year.
Flower: Single, three maroon or dark-red petals backed by three green or greenish-purple sepals, 1.5"-2.5" across, nodding or erect on slender stem. Foul-smelling.
Leaves: Smooth-margined, broadly triangular to heart-shaped, without stem (sessile), attached at point in a single whorl of 3 from which the flower stem arises. To 6" wide.
Fruit: An oval, dark red berry.
Blooming: April-Early May
Habitat: Deciduous woods.

Comments: A beautiful, early spring flower. Foul smell and dark red color supposedly attract the flies that pollinate the plant by resemblance to carrion. The roots are emetic, the berries suspect.

Where to find it: Scattered locations in woods in the park, along with other trilliums, early in spring before the tree leaves are fully out.