The leaves are large and broad, bright green and veiny.
Trillium gleasoni Fern.
April - May Hilly woods.
Three of them extend at angles from the top of the tall smooth stem, and from the middle curves a flower stem with a white flower on it. The petals roll tightly back, and the flower bends so that usually it hangs below the. level of the leaves. This is the nodding trillium in the Illinois woods, the tallest of its tribe.
It grows in rich, shady woodlands; the richer the woods, the bigger the plants. Calhoun County produces some which grow almost three feet high with flowers five inches in diameter, but this is not the general rule. It is seldom, however, a small plant. Nobly, in its classic plan of three, it ornaments the woods where its more elegant kin, the great white tril-lium, does not grow.
It is late April or May when the nodding trillium blooms. The oven-bird has come up from the southern jungles and, on its way to Wisconsin forests, pauses a while in an Illinois woods. On long pink legs the oven-bird walks, teetering its tail, beneath the mayapple umbrellas where the cupped white waxen flowers open; pokes among the little bright green brittle ferns; pauses a moment to pick an insect from a yellow violet leaf. The oven-bird looks like a small thrush, but has a crown striped with red, black, and buff, and walks, wide-eyed and cautiously. in the underpinning of the woods. It walks under the broadly expanded leaves of nodding trilliums, then flies to a twig of an oak whose new leaves are pink and velvety, and niters a wild song thing in rising crescendoes to the woods, a spontaneous expression of the delight of spring-time. This is spring. Here are birds. And nodding trilliums once again are in full bloom.