Wildflower Wednesday--Red & Painted Trillium


Red & Painted Trillium

The always elegant Trillium twins, Red and Painted are photogenic early spring favorites!  

Painted Trillium

Red Trillium is pollinated by carrion flies--the ones that eat dead things. So this lovely lady of the forest actually owes her deep red hue to an attempt to mimic rotting flesh. This, coupled with her rather stinky odor, fools flies into landing on the blooms and spreading pollen from flower to flower. These traits are responsible for two nicknames; “Stinky Benjamin” and “Wakerobin”

Red Trillium

In both species, the seeds have a tasty treat attached to the outside, which encourages ants and others to disperse them. This appendage, the elaiosome, is also known as the “ant snack.” By scientists. Seriously.

Red Trillium

 

Medicinal Use--Red Trillium is also known as “Birthroot,” as it is used in traditional medicine to induce labor, an effect of the sapogenins found in the plant