Sweet Little Betsy Trillium – Trillium cuneatum

Sweet Little Betsy Trillium
Sweet Little Betsy Trillium

In eastern North America this root is common from Kentucky and North Carolina south to Florida. I found this plant at the National Arboretum in Washington, D.C. It prefers to grow in rich soils in rich woods that have never been cleared. The species was first described by Constantine S. Rafinesque when he came to America in 1793. He landed in Philadelphia and from there went searching and exploring for flora and fauna that were new to him.

The common names Beth root, Birth root, and Sweet Little Betsy all refer to the plants use as an herbal medicine for female issues. The Cherokee used the root in infusion for the treatment of profuse menstruation, hemorrage, and menopause symptoms. The leaves (bruised) and the roots (crushed) can be made into a poultice to be applied to boils.

Trilliums have been used in magic also…bearing the plant (or a portion thereof) attracts money and luck. To attract love, just rub the root onto the body!


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