Sunday, April 11, 2010

Bloody Butcher: Harbinger of Spring

I was walking in the woods the other day, which is where I go to escape people and my own busy mind. 

Otto leads me, alert and happy in the moment...dogs are the best Zen teachers, I swear!

I ran across several welcome harbinger of spring-- robins and this oddly beautiful woodland treat: Purple Trillium recurvatum, or Bloody Butcher, a "charming native woodland wildflower suitable for growing in shade gardens over most of the U.S." Trillium blooms in April, which is the perfect warm weather announcement: Put your sweaters in the attic! Plant seeds!  Shave your legs-- it's here!

Trillium, because of three leaves.  I get that.
But "Bloody Butcher"?? There's a story behind that-- I'm going to find out what it is. . .as soon as I find a plant folklorist.


  1. That is a strange name for such an innocent looking plant. Maybe an Englishman stumbled over one once and cursed "Bloody...bushes" or something and someone misunderstood it as "butcher." :)

  2. Sounds feasible! I researched and couldn't find an explanation. The bloody I get b/c of the flower-- but butcher?


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