edition of 111
6″ h x 5.5″ w

TrilliumDetailSweet Trillium
Burgeoning, soft cluster of spring,
trinity of small, red petals,
trinity of slender, delicate sepals,
trinity of broad, emerald leaves,
Without resistance, you quietly bloom.

Three, Three, and Three
You, Me, and Thee
A delicate, triple triad
In tender divine geometry
You sprout a profound confirmation
Of absolute Perfection.

Birth, Life, and Death,
Creator, Preserver, Destroyer,
Father, Mother, Child,
Three Precious Jewels,
Father, Son, Holy Spirit,
The Trinity of Universal Truth.

Sweet Trillium, deeply rooted
in the fertile woodland soil
Your blooming
Nudges us to inquire
Are we deeply rooted enough
To bloom with You?

Known or unknown to you, kind friends
Quietly, invisibly, tenaciously
Work in utter unity
Silently feeding you, as they are fed,
And you and they
become the Other.

Sweet Trillium, in your witness
To divine perfection, you promise us:
We are deeply rooted enough
To embrace our life as One
We need only be willing
To be perfection with you.

Visible and invisible, often silent movements
Indeed are at work – always
Feeding and being fed at once,
Nudging us to bud and sprout,
Incessantly working in loving transcendence
Assisting, guiding, and calling us too to Bloom.

Year after year
You reappear
Asking “now?”
then “now?” and “now?”
Will you bloom with me
This year?

Above, Below, Within
Quiet immanent Intelligence
Pure life innocently, fluently born
The promise of perfection
The Trillium blooms!
Will you?


Trillium earned the FIRST PLACE AWARD at the 2012 International Miniature Exhibition in Nags Head, NC.


The seed of the Trillium vessel was received when a most valued and loyal collector suggested I consider this special plant for sculpting – a suggestion for which I am deeply grateful. Once my research began, I quickly realized I did indeed know this plant from my younger years, never giving attention to its name(s). It is perhaps most widely known as the “wake-robin” appearing with the early days of spring.

I chose the rich, red blossoms of the Trillium erectum for the vessel. Trillium’s name, once examining the plant, is easily understood. Most often low growing (average height of 6”) it boasts three petals, three slender sepals falling immediately beneath the petals, and grows on a stem with three broad, lower leaves whirling from a center point. Six stamens surround the three-part ovary. The number three is frequently used in my work representing the ultimate creative number, the triad. It was indeed effortless to connect deeply with the beautiful Perfection and wisdom of this woodland trinity.

The trillium needs to be deeply rooted to thrive. What truly “roots us”, and grounds us, on this earthly plane? Are we too deeply rooted and in what or whom are we rooted? How might we nourish ourselves to remain deeply rooted enough to thrive and not merely survive?  Growing quietly in the rich forest floor, clusters of burgeoning trillium naturally give profound witness and confirmation to Divine Perfection as they sprout toward the heavens. Are we sprouting toward the heavens with them?

Carol Alleman Cast Bronze TrilliumAnts enable the trillium to sow its seeds, eating away the oil rich appendage and abandoning the seeds to sprout. Ants – tenacious, patient, community-builders – helpthe trillium flourish. As I needled my way on the bottom of the vessel, etching three ants, I quietly reflected: Are we patient, tenacious, community-builders? Do we feed ourselves while also supporting the real nourishment of others? Are our social choices supporting our ultimate nourishment and our interdependence?  Perhaps we might embrace and follow the wisdom of nature. Many trilliums are either protected or endangered.  The quiet work of the ants, sowing the seeds supports their extended life. Do we appreciate the “ants” in our lives – the vast synchronicities (experiences, people and gifts) often working through invisible channels for our highest good?

“As Above, So Below” has long been a precious daily reminder for me. “Everything is Perfection.” The trillium is a beautiful display of this Truth. The Trillium nature vessel presents nine (3×3) blooms on the six (3+3) inch form. Three ants crawl on the bottom of the vessel – the incessant invisible nourishment for its continued growth. I chose the edition size of 111, reflecting again the perfection of “three”.  In the obvious triad of this quiet woodland icon, the sacred “three” echoes. It is a spring miracle in perfect harmony.

Trillium Facts

  • 6” – 20” tall, but most commonly about 6” tall
  • 3 petals, 3 sepals, 3 leaves, 3 celled ovaries, 3 ribs on berries
  • 6 stamen
  • claimed as most beloved of traditional woodland flowers
  • 30 species ,most familiar perhaps are those boasting white flowers, while other species have red, yellow, pink, purple, white, green or beige blooms
  • grow mainly in deciduous woods preferring shade
  • flowers grow directly on a stem or on a stalk
  • need to be very deeply planted to thrive
  • most species require seven years to bloom from seed (advanced methods of propagation can now minimize this to three years)
  • most species are either protected or endangered
  • its bloom stinks, hence one of its common names Stinking Benjamin
  • flowers have no nectar, flies feed on pollen picking up enough grains to bring to other flowers and effect pollination
  • also called, Wake Robin, Trinity Lily or Ground Lily
  • blooms often tend to nod a bit often hiding them
  • ants help sow its seeds hauling them away underground, eating the oil rich appendage and abandoning the seeds to sprout (called myrmecochory)
  • favor growing on hillsides
  • perennial

Specific to Trillium erectum

  • grows 6 – 20” tall but typically closest to 6” tall
  • petals are red/maroon most often but can also be white or greenish yellow
  • maroon ovary
  • most common in the NE to Appalachian Mountains
  • common names: Stinking Benjamin, Purple Trillium or Wake Robin
  • very slow growing, typically seven years to bloom
  • flower is either erect or reclining on the leaves

Symbolic Trillium Numbers

    3 = creative power, the number of the whole = the triad; beginning, middle, end; birth, life, death; past, present, future; father, mother, child; three precious jewels; creator, destroyer, preserver; three gifts of the magi; the Christian trinity.

  • 6 = equilibrium and harmony
  • 9 = all powerful 3 x 3 = divine geometry or triple triad; completion, fulfillment, beginning and end, the whole, earthly paradise. In Buddhist tradition, a celestial number.
  • 111 (edition size) = 3