Ozarks Spring Wildflowers: Toadshade

Picture of Toadshade (Trillium sessile), a spring wildflower seen on Sac River Trail, Springfield, Missouri

Toadshade, aka Trillium sessile

On the forest floor in the spring we know to look for pretty, delicate little wildflowers like Rue Anemone or bright patches of color like Virginia Bluebell. But there is a quiet and subtle wildflower that charms me with its geometric symmetry and patterning. It’s the group of flowers known as Trillium. During my hike this week on the Sac River Trail the Trillium that’s blooming is the one known as Toadshade, or Trillium sessile. A rather awful sounding name, I think, but it does grow in the damp forest shade where you might expect to see a little toad hopping around.

As you might have guessed from the name Trillium, this genus is known for having three leaves. In fact, there are three leaves, three sepals, three petals, and six stamens. The leaves are often mottled with darker patterns of green and the upright petals are a dark maroon.

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