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April Wildflower Spotlight: 
Red Toadshade Trillium

The trillium is easily identified by its three-part leaves and flowers. Trillium comes from the Latin triplum or triple. This plant has several common names; Toad Trillium, Sweet Betsy (because of the spicy-scented flowers), and Toadshade. They are commonly called Toadshade because their mottled leaves look like frog skins and the arrangement of the leaves looks like umbrellas that were often portrayed in book illustrations. The scientific name is Trillium cuneatum. Trilliums belong to the Lily family. 

It takes about six years from seed for a trillium to produce its first bloom. The flowers are usually maroon, but there are yellow varieties. The small bulb with fine roots has long been believed to have medicinal value within the pharmacopeias of midwifery, hence the name “Birthroot”. Trilliums thrive in rich, moist woods.

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