Photo credit, C Gracie.
|Of our three most common species of trillium in the Northeast, my favorite is the painted trillium. Its three white petals are strikingly marked with bright magenta chevrons that “bleed” into the veins of the petal. This species prefers colder, damper habitats than both the large-flowered (white) and purple trilliums and, thus, is less commonly seen.
Like many other spring woodland flowers, the seeds of trillium have a fleshy appendage (an elaiosome) that ants find attractive. The ants carry the seeds off to their nests, where they eat the elaiosomes and discard the seeds, thereby dispersing them away from the mother plant.
Read more in Spring Wildflowers of the Northeast