The trouble with trillium is that I don't know how to spell the plural. Trilliums or trillia? "Trilliums" sounds wrong, but "trillia" sounds like an obscure term in music theory or the name of an appendage on a microsopic creature. It's difficult to avoid using the plural because I'm rarely looking at just one blossom.
The other trouble with trillium is that they're easy to miss. They're pretty amazing when they're blooming, but they bloom in odd places that are easily overlooked. Two years ago when we moved in to our little house in the not-so-big woods, I wouldn't have known a trillium if it had walked up and said "Howdy," but then one day I was walking the dog down by the creek when I looked up and saw brilliant white blossoms dotting the opposite slope. If I'd known the name, I would have said, "Wow, trillions of trilliums (or trillia, as the case may be)." Instead, I walked home and got out the wildflower book.
The trillium season is short and by that time it was nearly over, but I still managed to find them growing on the slope above our driveway and in several other places. Laste year I was more alert, but last year was a different kind of season: a cold, damp spring, which apparently is appealing to trillium because they bloomed in abundance and grew larger than they had the previous year. Who knows what will happen this spring?
Yesterday on my walk I didn't see a trace of trillium, but I'm determined not to miss them this time. I know now that when the trillium blooms I can start looking for fire pinks and trout lilies and soon Dutchman's breeches, but by then there will be dozens of different kinds of wildflowers blooming everywhere I look. The trillium comes first, blooming when the ground still looks brown and cold, a harbinger of coming events. For now, every time I go down the driveway I scan the slope for the first trillium of spring. After the first, though, I'd better find a dictionary. Trilliums or trillia? I'd rather not say.