The painted trillium, I have found is a bit of a loner, unlike clintonia or the wild lily-of-the-vally which are often found in profusion near by. (Incidentally, it is my experience, that the painted trillium and common or pink lady's slippers tend to patch together, though the lady's slipper is less difficult to find.) Because the painted trilliums do not hang out together, in any great numbers, and are finished blooming within weeks of the start of spring, one might not spot it within its season. It is has always been, for us, therefore, one of the special treats of early spring to come upon a painted trillium. The entire plant sits upon a single stock with its three pointed leaves of dark green being not much more than three to four inches across; layered above these three leaves is their echo of three white petals of its single flower. The wavy white petals display a red blaze towards its center. This is a rare plant, and like the lady's slipper, IT IS NOT TO BE PICKED as it will not, without allowing its blossom to cycle through, regenerate itself. Consider yourself fortunate when you spot this beauty in the woods.
One of the very first flowers of spring, look for the painted trillium towards the end of May. Their blossoms are out slightly ahead of the pink lady's slippers, but often you will get a double treat seeing both of these lovely flowers in the same woodsy neighborhood, during the first part of June; both prefer acidic soil.
Unlike its cousins the purple trilliums, which prefer "the richer woodlands" -- we are told by Peterson -- the painted trillium prefer to be in damp acidic soil. We have seen the painted trillium on May 24th along the MicMac Lake trail on our way to Shubie Park which, in season, has a great number of both the painted trillium and the pink lady's slipper.