Trillium erectum’s (red trillium) single whorl of diamond-shaped leaves clasp its 6-18 in. stem. Perched 1-4 in. above the leaves is a single, nodding, crimson flower with three petals curved slightly backward. The petals wither in 2-3 weeks, leaving a fleshy, berry-like fruit. The solitary, nodding flower, with an unpleasant odor, rises on a stalk above a whorl of 3 broadly ovate, diamond-shaped leaves.
This is one of the most common eastern Trilliums. Its foul smell attracts carrion flies that act as pollinators.