You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks


Welcome to

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on

Trilliums: The floral stars of early spring in Georgia’s woodlands

I can’t imagine early spring in Georgia without trilliums, prime symbols of the season.

Many of us plant lovers consider trilliums as the wildflower stars of woodlands in spring. No other wildflowers, it seems, elicit as many “oohs and ahs” from fellow Georgia Botanical Society members as do trilliums during our field trips in early spring.


‘Sweeping the woodpeckers’ in Metro Atlanta

It’s Spring: Happy New Year

White squirrels appear in east Cobb backyard

Georgia is trillium central. It has more trillium species—at least 22—than any other state. They are found mostly in moist, shady, mature hardwood forests in all parts of the state, from steep mountain slopes to rich Coastal Plain ravines.

Nine of Georgia’s trillium species are listed as plants of special concern, meaning they are facing threats such as habitat loss, to their survival.

The promise of seeing a particularly splendid species, the Southern nodding trillium (Trillium rugelli), in various stages of bloom last weekend drew several members of the Georgia Botanical Society to a woodland path in the Cochran Shoals Trail of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. We were not disappointed. In one area, scores of nodding trilliums nearly covered the forest floor.


Along the way we also admired two other species: the pink-flowered Catesby’s trillium and the maroon-flowered Sweet Betsy trillium.

Trilliums’ name come from the Latin word for three, or tri. Trillium blossoms have three petals, three sepals, six stamens and a three-celled ovary. A large solitary flower—white, pink, red, maroon or yellow, depending on the species—blooms above a cluster of three large leaves.

With the warmth of early spring, trilliums quickly send up stems, leaves and flowers before the forest canopy leafs out. By summer, after they have produced seeds, the trilliums’ above-ground portion will be gone. For the rest of the year, they will persist as underground rhizomes until they emerge again next spring.

Mature trilliums, in fact, can live as long as 100 years.

IN THE SKY: From David Dundee, Tellus Science Museum astronomer: The moon will be full on Tuesday. Mercury is low and Venus and Mars are very low in the west around dusk. Jupiter rises out of the east around sunset and will appear near the moon on Monday night. Saturn rises in the east just before midnight.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Living

Where can I find it?
Where can I find it?

Q: I have found a recipe for my grandmother’s fruit soup. It is a Swedish dessert, and I’m having a problem finding the variety of the dried fruit that the recipe calls for. Apricots, plums and cherries are easy to locate, but I also need dried peaches and pears. Can you help me? Lucy Johnson, Lawrenceville A: Lucy, I found both dried peaches...
‘Tramps,’ new on Netflix, is rom-com caper with knockabout charm
‘Tramps,’ new on Netflix, is rom-com caper with knockabout charm

The writer-director Adam Leon made an impressive debut in 2012 with “Gimme the Loot,” an antic New York comedy about graffiti artists out for revenge. Leon delivers on that promise with “Tramps,” a similarly spirited, lively urban bagatelle, this time about a young couple who go unexpectedly on the lam after a shady deal gone...
Scott Baio offers condolences after co-star Erin Moran's death
Scott Baio offers condolences after co-star Erin Moran's death

Scott Baio will miss Erin Moran. On Sunday, Baio shared his condolences after hearing about the sudden death of “Joanie Loves Chachi” co-star Erin Moran. “May people remember Erin for her contagious smile, warm heart, and animal loving soul. I always hoped she could find peace in her life. God has you now, Erin,” he wrote on...
19 mistakes college grads make when finding their first apartments
19 mistakes college grads make when finding their first apartments

Finding your first apartment after college is a big undertaking — it can be hard to know where to start when you’re staring at a stack of listings and the money from your new job is burning a hole in your pocket. And you’re new to all this, so you’re bound to make some mistakes along the way.  But we can help. Take a look...
New ‘oldest person in world’ is 117, explains secret to longevity
New ‘oldest person in world’ is 117, explains secret to longevity

Violet Mosse-Brown of Jamaica is officially the oldest living person in the world, at 117 years of age. Mosse-Brown earned the title after the death of Emma Morano of Italy, who died earlier this week at 117 years, 137 days old. Mosse-Brown has a simple secret to her longevity. “Really and truly, when people ask what me eat and drink to live...
More Stories