Painted Trillium (Trillium undulatum) is one of the most attractive, and most elusive of the Trilliums. A rare sight, perhaps because it is at the southern edge of it’s range in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Painted Trillium favors cool northern forests.
Identification is very easy, with the prominent maroon paint circling the inner bloom. This Smoky Mtn wildflower favors acidic soils, so look for it in the shade of acid-loving plants such as pines and rhododendrons. The example above was found growing on top of a large boulder beside the Porters Creek Trail in the Greenbrier section of the Smokies. The photo below was taken along the Thomas Divide trail, where the bloom occurs much later at the higher elevation.
Please stop in and visit me to see the complete display of Smoky Mtn Photography at the William Britten Gallery in Gatlinburg, TN.