Red Trillium (Trillium erectum)

Terry Bailey

Joined January 2011

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Artist's Description

Red Trillium (Trillium erectum) is also known by other common names such as Wake robin, Purple trillium, Beth root or stinking Benjamin is a spring flowering perennial native to North eastern USA and Canada. The flower is a deep red colour and is sometimes referred to as Wake robin because of the red colour similar to the breast of the robin that herald the return of spring.

The Red Trillium can tolerate extreme cold temperatures down to -35 C and grows to heights of 40 cms spreading outwards to a maximum width of 30 cms.

The flower receive pollination from flies which are attracted to the flower by the odour given off which is similar to rotting meat. The leaves contain calcium oxalate crystals, in addition to, crystal raphide, and should not be consumed by humans.

However, the bright splendid colour of this beautiful plant more than makes up for the smell.

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