This is one of my favorite flowers of the southern woods. Spotted Wakerobin is a lily of the genus Trillium (three leaves), which stands out for it’s namesake dark-green to purple spots (maculatum) and deep red blooms.
I’ve noticed shoots as early as late February, with blooms unfurling around mid-march. It’s often scattered sparsely through all kinds of forest, seeming not to have much preference between hardwood and pine stands, though the Trillium genus is reported to favor slightly acidic soil. In my experience, these plants are most easily spotted March-April, before taller foliage shadows them, near water sources.
Take special care not to step on these, as their thick leaves and stems are a bit brittle. Despite their bold display, the camouflage-like splotching allows these plants to easily blend in. Once a Spotted Wakerobin catches your eye, you’ll often found you’re completely surrounded by more of this beautiful bloom. Step carefully and enjoy.