Saturday, May 5, 2007


I found a roadside Trillium. So excruciatingly beautiful it was a sight for sore eyes and seeing it grow in such an unprotected place made me want to take it home and plant it somewhere safe in my woods or garden.
The trillium has to be the most auspicious plant. When I see her, which is every spring but only a few times, I instantly feel like I've been sent a spirit message. "Something special is on it's way, watch out for it or you might miss it!" She sais.
Her three leaves, three sepals, and three flower petals, makes a most cosmic presentation. Even the stamens and pistil are in threes. Since plants in the Liliaceae family have flower parts mostly in threes, I am guessing Trillium belongs to this plant family (I'll have to go look it up to be sure). She is arriving now, when most Lily family plants are erecting; wild ramps, daylily greens, daffodils, trout lily, etc.

Well, my guess is wrong. It actually belongs to the Trilliaceae family. And lovely as it is, if you are seduced (as I was) to bend down and inhale the sweet aroma, you will likely be very dissapointed. It smells quite repulsive.

Native peoples used Trillium (also called Beth Root) for both food and medicine, although it is now listed as an at risk herb so it is not for harvesting. The leaves were used as a pot herb or in soups or salads. The root was used to aid a childbearing woman during labor or postpardum, as a uterine tonic. Interesting to me how several herbs slating similar childbirth/woman healing properties all grow in the same woodland envronment; Lady's Slipper, Mitchella repens, Blue Cohosh ... as if the wet fertile ground of the forest mirrors the fertile womb.

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