This is Trillium erectum, or the red trillium or red wake robin. The wake robin name comes from it, like robins, are some of the first colorful things around in spring. Some people also call them purple trilliums too, but it's more of a red to me.
These flowers are relatively common near, and I see them every spring when I'm out looking for leeks. Apparently, the flower smells pretty bad actually, like a wet dog or rotten meat, but I've never smelled it. This smell attracts carrion flies to pollinate it!
After 2-3 weeks, they produce a fleshy and red berry-like fruit. Then they wither away for the summer. Like many forest plants I've already posted about, these spread through underground rhizomes, so many flowers may actually be one plant!
So trilliums usually come in threes- three petals, three sepals and three bracts. Oh, those leaves you see are actually called bracts, which are technically part of the flower, and not true leaves. Anywho, sometimes trilliums come in fours- four petals, sepals and bracts. I've not seen this before though, but I'm looking out for them.
This isn't the only trillium near me, though it's the only one I have a picture of right now. Some of these apparently can hybrid, which makes trillium taxonomy confusing. Some researchers consider these trilliums to be part of a "species complex" which is a term used for groups of related species that can reproduce with each other and create hybrids.
And like many plants near me, the red trillium had traditional uses! The root was used by Native Americans as an aid for childbirth and menstrual troubles. The plant part was made into a poultrice and- used to treat tumors, gangrene, ulcers and inflammation! It's not highly toxic, but ingestion can cause an upset stomach.
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