There's one flower in New York everyone loves to find but should never pick.

The trillium may be the official flower of Ontario, Canada but it also grows all over the Northeast, including in the Empire State. It takes seven to ten years for a trillium to bloom. Once it does, it can live up to 25 years.

There are several different varieties of trilliums. Some are endangered while others could become that way if people don't stop cutting them down.

Credit - David M Chambers/Unsplash
Credit - David M Chambers/Unsplash
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Endangered Trilliums

Trillium flexipes are known as the nodding wakerobin. It can be found from Minnesota to Ohio, to Tennessee. There are rare, isolated populations in New York, Pennsylvania, and Alabama.

This variety is an endangered species in Ontario.

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Credit - Gardens of Blue Ridge
Credit - Gardens of Blue Ridge
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Trillium Sessile

The Trillium Sessile is commonly known as toadshade or toad trillium. It is at risk of being destroyed in the District of Columbia, New York, North Carolina, and Oklahoma.

Credit - Perennialco.com
Credit - Perennialco.com
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Exploitably Vulnerable

The Trillium cernuum is known as the red or purple trillium and is likely to become threatened in the near future.

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Credit - Karl Heinz Muller/Unsplash
Credit - Karl Heinz Muller/Unsplash
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Trillium Undulatum

The Trillium undulatum is known as the painted lady for its vibrant purple color in the center.

Credit - Brian Yurasits/Unsplahs
Credit - Brian Yurasits/Unsplahs
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Trillium Grandiflorum

The Trillium grandiflorum is the most common and was adopted as the provincial flower of Ontario in 1937. It was planted on the graves of Canadian servicemen during the war.

This trillium can be found in New York but it's likely to become threatened throughout the state if it isn't protected.

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Credit - Steven Brown/Unsplash
Credit - Steven Brown/Unsplash
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Illegal to Pick?

It's not illegal to pick the grandilforum variety in Ontario even though many think it is. It IS against the law to trespass on other people's property to remove the plants. It's also illegal to pick them from government properties, or provincial parks.

In New York, many trillium varieties are protected. So if you happen to come across some while hiking in the woods, appreciate them with your eyes and your camera rather than picking them to take home. That way, everyone can enjoy them too.

There are several endangered and protected plants in New York. See the complete list at Govt.westlaw.com.

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