Trillium erectum, also known as red trillium,[3] wake-robinpurple trillium,[4] Beth root, or stinking Benjamin,[5] is a speciesof flowering plant native to the east and north-east of North America. It is a spring ephemeral, an herbaceous perennial whose life-cycle is synchronised with that of the deciduous forests where it lives.

This plant grows to about 40 cm (16 in) in height with a spread of 30 cm (12 in), and can tolerate extreme cold in winter, surviving temperatures down to −35 °C (−31 °F). Like all trilliums, its parts are in groups of three, with 3-petalled flowers above whorls of pointed triple leaves.[6] The leaves contain calcium oxalate crystals and crystal raphide, and should not be consumed by humans. The flowers are a deep red colour, though there is a white form. The flowers have the smell of rotting meat, as they are pollinated by flies.

The plant takes its name “wake-robin” by analogy with the robin, which has a red breast heralding spring.—Wikipedia

May 8, 2015