Wake-robin Trillium

I saw these maroon wake-robins and some yellow trilliums not in any wild woods, but in a Needham woman’s woodland garden (a spectacular stop on the Needham Garden Tour). But they’re native wildflowers and they’re (mostly finished) blooming, so here they are. Picking a trillium seriously hurts the plant, because then it can’t produce food for the next year. It takes many years to recover. Trillium seeds are spread by ANTS! Ants are attracted to the decaying ovary, take the seeds to their nests, eat the spongy “elaisosome” part of the seeds, and discard the rest of the seeds, which then germinate in the ant compost heap. Lily family. Native.

Wake-robin, Purple Trillium, Birthroot (Trillium erectum)

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