Most folks would call this plant the Prairie Trillium, but the PLANTS database goes with Bloody Butcher, which I had never heard before. Both names are peculiar. In our neck of the woods, these plants are found in nice deciduous woodlands, not prairies. A bit of web surfing didn’t turn up much info about these names. Most folks indicated that they did not see these in prairies, but rather in woodlands, even in Illinois where there are prairies. One page said that Bloody Butcher referred to the maroon colored flowers, which may be true but there are lots of other plants with maroon and red colored flowers that don’t have bloody names.
If anyone knows any more about how this plant got its common names, please comment.
The Bloody Butcher looks a lot like another trillium – Toadshade. They sometimes even grow in the same woods. The differences to look for are that the leaves are on short stems and the sepals bend downwards underneath the leaves. On Toadshades, the leaves are sessile (have no stems) and the sepals stay above the leaves.
Stay tuned tomorrow to take a look at some Toadshade pics.