Birth Root Or Stinking Benjamin: What’s In A Name? (#268)

In the Pennsylvania woodlands I am always thrilled when I find myself walking on undisturbed land.  Land that has not been tilled for farming or moved around for roads and houses.  How can I tell?  The presence of native wildflowers is a sure sign.

Red Trillium

Red Trillium

One of the prettiest flowers I found is the Red Trillium growing in rich soil beneath a canopy of trees.

With an interest in ethnobotany, learning about the history of this revered plant is an added bonus.

A few hundred years ago it was known as Birth Root by Native Americans who used the root to induce childbirth and to aid in labor.


Native Americans Taught Settlers About Their Healing Plants

To green flies it is a place to lay their eggs.  Why?  Well, that’s where another name for the flower comes into play.  It’s been called Stinking Benjamin because it has a faint odor of meat gone bad.  That aspect attracts the green flies who incidentally pollinate the flowers while laying their eggs.

Rich Pollen Meal

Red Trillium Pollen 

Since it has three leaves the Red Trillium also has a connection to the Holy Trinity.

All this from just a walk in the woods.  I am always in wonder at our beautiful natural world.

Ever Grateful,  Annie

About TinCanTraveler

Born under a wand'rin' star.... living in my Winnebago, traveling the country, explorer/adventurer, photographer, writer, chi master, massage therapist, retired teacher/counselor, work camper. Appreciation for the freedom to do it all. Enjoying life's ultimate lessons of trust, respect, and grace.
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6 Responses to Birth Root Or Stinking Benjamin: What’s In A Name? (#268)

  1. Your photos are exquisite! Our woods are also filled with blooming trillium…I always feel so luck to spot a patch… Thanks for sharing you beauties!

  2. Teresa says:

    Thank you dear Teacher! I love these enlightenments.

  3. Sher says:

    You never cease to amaze me. You are a wealth on information. You are my favorite teacher. Really beautiful flower and great pictures. Thank you.

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