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Toad Trillium - Trillium sessile - Toadshade Trillium
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The Toad Trillium has often been used by the Natives. This plant has been known to reduce swelling caused by rheumatic arthritis in the joints. It is used to eliminate and decrease swelling in the eyes and has also been used in the treatment of cramps and also in treating earaches.
The Toad Trillium is often also called the Toadshade Trillium, and is often found in loam-rich forests and floodplains. Like most other trilliums, the Toad Trillium prefers moist, rich soil and plenty of shade. The leaves of the Toad Trillium are of particular interest, being wide, broad, and flat, and have a mottled green appearance. It is likely that this mottled coloration, not unlike the skin of a toad, is the reason for the plant's unique name. The flowers are relatively foul-smelling, when they do bloom, and can be used to discourage wildlife from entering an area. The Toad Trillium is mildly poisonous, and can induce vomiting if large quantities of the plant or root are ingested.
Toad Trillium can be found growing naturally in rivers and creeks of woodland areas in the eastern United States. Even though, it is not a true sessile variety because the stem is above ground, it is considered the largest variety of sessile trilliums. This perennial has a stem that does not interrupt the leaves like many-stemmed plants. Thus, many classify it is sessile in nature. Trilliums have three leaves and three petals that also contribute to its name. Toad trilliums reach a mature height of 2 feet but is often found in the early years only around 1 foot tall. They grow in clumps as they mature. Also referred to as toad shade, sweet Betsy trillium, Beth Root, and many others. It may receive it name because of the mottled leaves. Blooms can be deep red to maroon or chartreuse. Some may even have green or yellow tones to them. Peak seasons only last a short time and flowers bloom early in the year and becoming dormant in early summer. The flowers appear closed because the petals stand upright and never open to lay out flat like most flowers. Grayish green mottling occurs on the green leaves. Once roots are established to maintain water, little care is needed. During dry or drought seasons, the soil should be kept moist but be careful, not to over water. The soil should also drain freely. Loamy, sandy, or clay like soils are tolerated. Limestone rich soils are great for growing the toad trillium. Grow in full to partially shady conditions. Little care and maintenance are required. In the proper garden conditions, the trillium can live a long life. Hardy in zones 4 through 8.