Apr 24 2012
This flower never cares if it rains or snows because it never opens.
Toadshade or Sessile trillium (Trillium sessile) has a stalkless flower of three, small, dark red petals that always remain in the closed position.
Sesslie trillium is usually found in clumps because the plants sprout from rhizomes. Its true leaves are papery coverings on the rhizomes. What we call “leaves” are actually three bracts. Sometimes they are mottled with dark spots as in the photo at this link.
Those in the know say Sessile trillium smells foul to attract its fly and beetle pollinators.
I have never approached close enough to smell it, but I wonder… Do toads wait in the shade beneath sessile trillium to nab an unsuspecting fly? Is that why it’s called toadshade?
(photo by Dianne Machesney)