The GREAT WHITE TRILLIUM!
A very special and interesting plant. This particular variety is actually a favorite treat for the white-tail deer. I was even reading that one can estimate the deer population in the area by the height of the trillium. The spread of seeds primarily by ants, this plant actually has quite a long life span, some sources saying around 25 years. The ‘three whorled leaves’ often not developed until the 4th or 5th years and not blooming until the 7th years. Making this plant especially vulnerable to to becoming endangered and also why it is mostly illegal to pick it.
Most of this information was Abstracted from http://www.easywildflowers.com/quality/trillium%20grand.htm
Medicinal Uses: This plant has a variety of medicinal uses and was often used in ancient medicine. The root is a diuretic and can also be grated and applied to eyes for the reduction of swelling as well as to rheumatic joints to ease pain. The root’s bark can be used in the form of eardrops in order to reduce soreness (during ear infections). Finally, the grated root can be simmered in water and drunk for treatment of cramps and irregular menses (Plants for a Future).
Edible Uses: The leaves can be cooked and eaten, similar to spinach.
Though the Trillium has both Medicinal and Culinary uses it is illegal to pick them in most states. In Michigan the law states “under the Christmas Greens Act of 1962. Under this act, it is illegal to take the plant without the permission of the landowner or a bill of sale.”