By Susan M. Thigpen
Issue: May, 1983
In May, one of the most beautiful and most abundant of all wild flowers in this part of the Blue Ridge begins to bloom. This is the Trillium. The trillium has three petals, three sepals and three leaves, thus the appropriate name, Trillium. It is in the Lily family. There are ten different members of this genus but the most common one is the Large-Flowered Trillium. The big, bell-shaped white flower, which usually turns to a delicate pink with age is on a stem 10 to 15 inches high. The bloom is at the top of the stem, surrounded by three large, round leaves with pointed tips. They grow in cool, moist wooded areas, not needing much sun. They can be an awesome sight because often there will be thousands of them in one patch.
A much smaller and rarer variety is the “Wake-Robin.” It is a dark red color and you are lucky if you see two or three in one spot.
Get a good wildflower book and go for a walk in the woods in May or June and you’re sure to see at least a few of the varieties of trilliums. These mountains are rich in wildflowers and offer the opportunity for you to see for yourself many flowers others can only hope to see in books. To see a rare wildflower face to face (face to petal if you must) is as exciting as viewing the Mona Lisa or any other rare work of art. Mother Nature has more than a few master pieces of her own!