Field of Science

Friday Fabulous Flower - Purple Trillium

Among the denizens lurking in the shadier wooded recesses of our gardens are several species of Trillium.  They flower over quite a range of the spring time and some are showier than others.  This purple trillium (Trillium erectum)   frequently gets over looked although it can form some large clumps with quite a few aerial stems.  Although given the name you might not expect it, the flowers nod and the petals are dark purple, broader, shorter, and darker on our specimens than many you see.  The flowers are fragrant, but not pleasing except to small flies that swarm about them, thus yielding the common name "stinking Benjamin", and you wonder about its origin.  Such plants are quite a joy because they provide you with something a bit unexpected to discover when poking about.  

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