Colic-Root; Star Grass (Aletris Farinosa) is a tall, wand-like plant, striking in appearance even though not beautiful in flower. The scape is from 2 to 3 feet high, terminated with a small spike-like raceme of white, tubular flowers. The perianth is 6-lobed, very granular and roughened on the outside by thickly set points. It is this granular appearance, as though the flower had been sprinkled with white meal, that gives it its generic name, meaning "a female slave who grinds corn". The leaves are thin, flat and lanceolate, radiating from the rootstalk at the base of the flower scape. It is commonly found from Me. to Minn, and southwards, flowering in July and August.
Purple Trillium; Wake Robin. Trillium erectum.
Trilliums derive their generic name from the fact that all their parts are arranged in threes; three leaves, three petals, three sepals and a three-parted stigma. The common name of Wake Robin was probably early given because these flowers appear at an early date. As a matter of fact they do not bloom until weeks after the Robins have returned to the Northern States. All the purple trilliums have an unpleasant odor resembling that of putrid meat; as they are largely dependent for fertilization upon certain carrion flies, it is very probable that their peculiar color is for the purpose of an added lure for these insects. The Sessile Flowered Trillium has the parts of the stigma so recurved that they are very close to the anthers and it is very probable that self-fertilization takes place. After the flowering season an oval reddish berry is seen rising from, or seated among, the three green leaves.
Purple Trillium; Birthroot; ILL-Scented Wake Robin (Trillium Erectum) has three purplish-brown petals (sometimes these are pink or even white in color) and three sepals; six stamens exceeding in length the stout spreading stigma. Flower solitary, raising on a short pedicel above the whorl of broad, ovate, pointed and short petioled leaves. This trillium ranges in height from 6 to 15 inches. It flowers in April and May, in rich woods from Quebec to Ont. and southwards.
Stemless Purple Trillium (Trillium Sessile) is very similar, but the flower is seated directly among the leaves with no stem, and the petals do not spread as much. It is found from Pa. to Minn, and southwards.
Trillium viride has both the leaves and flowers sessile. The petals of this species are greenish and narrow. Found from Kas. and Mo. southwards.
A. Large-flowered Trillium.
B. Nodding Trillum.