The first time I ever saw trillium was on our mountain honeymoon just over twenty-five years ago. It was late in the day when we got to the Blue Ridge Parkway, and one of the first things we laid eyes on was a whole forest filled with trilliums. The slanted afternoon light illuminated the trilliums, and they shone a radiant white in the gloaming. They were enchanting, and I was smitten.
I don’t know why I love them so much. Maybe because of the magical honeymoon association. Maybe because they’re one of the first flowers to bloom in spring. Maybe because there are so many kinds—40 to 50 species, I think.
Or maybe because some of them look like little botanical pinwheels.
I love, too, trillium’s alternate names–wakerobin, birthroot. And Stinking Benjamin. Actually it’s only the red trillium that called Stinking Benjamin. We saw a lot of it on our spring hikes, and it was fun to tease Benjamin by hollering, “Stinking Benjamin!” every time we saw one.
It doesn’t matter, really, why I love trillium. It only matters that I realize how blessed I am to live here in the Appalachians, where it blooms so profusely in hidden forest glades. It only matters that I am grateful for the enchanting, charming, and altogether lovely little wakerobin.