Trillium ovatum

By Oma Landstra

Spring has burst into full abundance, and the native plants are gorgeous.  Trillium ovatum, a NW native that blooms usually from March through June is showing off along the trails in Jefferson County. They can be seen at Anderson Lake, Gibbs Lake, Ft. Flagler, and other wooded environments around us here. 

Trillium ovatum’s common names are “Western Trillium” and “Wake Robin.” The flowers awaken simultaneously to the Robins beginning to sing and becoming active in the woodlands.  Trillium are the “Harbinger of Spring.” They are perennials and grow from rhizomes. The flowers have six stamens and three stigmas. They are very long-lived in the dense, wet woodlands.  As the pure white flowers age and after pollination, they alter in color from white to burgundy or pink. Known as “spring ephemeral,” after blooming Trillium become dormant. Indigenous tribes used the juice of the Trillium plant as a remedy for boils, as a poultice, and for sore eyes. 

I advise you to consult a local trail map and to go out and explore the many beautiful spring flowers of this wonderful home place that we all share.