i recognized the three leaf and petal pattern as trillium, but it was not the prairie trillium that i have commonly seen. that plant has a brownish red flower, is much taller, and blooms later in spring.
excited by my sighting, i did some google research. i found the best information on the illinois wildflower website. there i learned that its latin name is trillium nivale and it is commonly called snow trillium because it blooms so early in the spring when there is often still snow on the ground. according to the distribution map, it does not even grow in our county or the surrounding counties; other places in illinois it is uncommon. it is considered an "indicator species of high quality upland woods." i was pleased to read this about our little woodland home. :o)