Stem. - Stout, from a tuber-like rootstock. Leaves. - Broadly ovate, three in a whorl a short distance below the flower. Flower. - Single, terminal, usually purplish-red, occasionally whitish, pinkish, or greenish, on an erect or somewhat inclined flower-stalk. Calyx. - Of three green spreading sepals. Corolla. - Of three large lance-shaped petals. Stamens. - Six. Pistil. - One, with three large spreading stigmas. Fruit. - A large, ovate, six-angled reddish berry.
This wake robin is one of the few self-assertive flowers of the early year. Its contemporaries act as if somewhat uncertain as to whether the spring had really come to stay, but no such lack of confidence possesses our brilliant young friend, who almost flaunts her lurid petals in your face, as if to force upon you the welcome news that the time of birds and flowers is at hand. Pretty and suggestive as is the common name, it is hardly appropriate, as the robins have been on the alert for many days before our flower unfurls its crimson signal. Its odor is most unpleasant. Its reddish fruit is noticeable in the woods of late summer.
Plate LXXIX. Wake Robin. - T. erectum
The sessile trillium, T. sessile, has no separate flower-stalk, its red or greenish blossom being set close to the stem leaves. Its petals are narrower, and its leaves are often blotched or spotted. Its berry is globular, six-angled, and red or purplish.
The wake robins are native to North America, only one species being found just beyond the boundaries in the Russian territory.