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This plant's name comes from the latin word for three. The blossoms of trilliums have three petals, three sepals, six stamens, a three-celled ovary, and a cluster of three leaves. A solitary flower blooms above the cluster of leaves.
Trilliums are woodland plants native to North America and Asia. They grow in damp, shaded areas. There are about 30 different known species. Some bloom in early spring before the robins come, thus giving them the name wake-robin. One of the species of trillium with large flowers is great white trillium, or the trinity lilly. Its blossoms have broad petals, each two or three inches long, and a pleasent scent. Days after blooming, the flowers change from white to pink. Another species is the purple trillium, which actully has dark red petals. This type of blossom is beautiful, but has a very unpleasant odor. Perhaps the prettiest of the trilliums is the painted trillium, also known as the painted wake-robin or the smiling wake-robin. Its narrow, pointed petals are white and marked with deep pink or maroon colours.
When trilliums are picked, they wilt quickly, and the plant forms no seed for the next year. It is best, therefore, to let the flowers stay in their natural woodland home. In 1927, the trillium was made the official flower on Ontario, Canada.
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