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Stinking Benjamin

Trillium erectum


Trillium erectum, also known as Wake-robin, red trillium, purple trillium, Beth root or Stinking Benjamin, is a spring-flowering perennial plant native to the east and north-eastern areas of North America. The flowers are a deep red colour, and the plant takes its name Wake-robin by analogy with the Robin, which has a red breast that heralds spring. This plant grows to about 40 cm in height with a spread of 30 cm and can tolerate extreme cold in winter, surviving temperatures down to -35 C. The flowers have the smell of rotting meat, as they are pollinated by flies. The leaves contain calcium oxalate crystals and crystal raphide, and should not be consumed by humans.


Radnor Lake state park, Tennessee.

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KarenL 10 years ago

Ha ha yes Bernadette, I wondered that too! None of the flowers were fully open so I didn't get to find out if this has a nasty smell!

Bernadette S
Bernadette S 10 years ago

I wonder why it gets its "Stinking Benjamin" name from.

Spotted by

Nashville-Davidson, Tennessee, USA

Spotted on Mar 6, 2012
Submitted on Mar 6, 2012

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