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Trillium

plants and purple

TRILLIUM, a genus of the family Lilia cccr, monocotyledonous plants, having all the parts in threes, to which circumstance the generic name refers. They are handsome plants known also as wakerobin, native to North America and Asia. The leaves are triple, in a single whorl, the flower-peduncles arising from the centre. The three petals of the flowers alternate with the same number of sepals. The fruits are large berries, dark red or purple, and sometimes angled. The plants are early blooming smooth perennials, with perpendicu lar rhizomes ending abruptly and abounding in starch. Trillium grandiflorum, which extends from Quebec to Florida and westward, in cool, damp woods, has rhombic, ovate, pointed leaves. The petals are somewhat spreading, pure white or touched with pink, when aged turning to old-rose tints. The painted trillium (T. undulatum) is very small, with white petals, narrow and wavy-margined and veined with purple. T. cernuum has a white-petal flower

nodding on a recurved stalk quite under the leaves, which are broadly rhombic. Other species have green flowers, as T. viride and T. recurvatum, the latter distinguishable by its reflexed sepals. Two at least are purple flowered, the blossom of one being sessile (T. sessile), and the other (T. erectuns) havitA de clined flower-stems and reddish purple somewhat acute, and a little longer than 4Ie lanceolate sepals. The flowers have a disagreeable odor, probably attractive to call rion flies, however, and are among the first plants to bloom in the shady, cool woods of eastern America. They are called beth-root or birth-wort, and have a rhizome of sweetish, astringent, acid taste and emetic properties.