I first discovered Trilliums at the famous Lime Walk of Sissinghurst Castle Garden in Kent England. There, they were stunningly planted with a variety of other spring flowering bulbs. It is worth a trip in April – May when they are in full bloom.
This is a stunning shot of our Massachusetts native by Denis Collette :
Wikipedia describes Trillium erectum:
The Wake-robin, also known as the red trillium, purple trillium, Beth root or Stinking Benjamin, Trillium erectum, is a spring-flowering perennial plant native to the east and north-eastern areas of North America. The flowers are a deep red colour, and the plant takes its name Wake-robin by analogy with the Robin, which has a red breast that heralds spring.
This plant grows to about 40 cm in height with a spread of 30 cm and can tolerate extreme cold in winter, surviving temperatures down to -35 C. The flowers have the smell of rotting meat, as they are pollinated by flies. The leaves contain calcium oxalate crystals and crystal raphides, and should not be consumed by humans.
I also love this collection of Trillium shots by Joey Randall at her blog ‘The Village Voice’ .