Trillium cuneatum, T. erectum, T. grandiflorum, T. luteum, T. ovatum
In upstate NY if you walk by a shady meadow in early May you might find it carpeted with white or red speckles. If your curiosity is sufficiently aroused you might take a closer look and be rewarded with a wondrous discovery.
Piercing through layers of detritus and plant-litter is a slender scape with broad triangular leaves, textured and pillowy, whorling around a single “flower” made up of three sepals around three petals which house six stamens surrounding three stigmas. What sacred symmetry!
This geometrical consistency has appealed to artisans and artists from diverse practices—Tiffany lamps and fine bone china, traditional Amish quilt designs and postage stamps as well as insignia and business brands and logos—to name just a few. Some representations are clearly recognizable species while others are stylized or abstract renditions.
In the spring of 2014 I put the word out and received five different varieties of trillium from three different sources. I rinsed, teased and freed roots and rhizomes in order to present them in all their hirsute splendor. Then these valued guests rested in a pot where they were perfect models until they returned to the gardens from whence they had traveled.