Trillium grandiflorum

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 Trillium grandiflorum subsp. var.  Grand trillium, Showy trillium
Trillium grandiflorum forma roseum
Habit: herbaceous
Height: to
Width: to
18in 20in
Height: warning.png"" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. to 18 in
Width: warning.png"" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. to 20 in
Lifespan: perennial
Bloom: early summer, mid summer, late summer
Exposure: part-sun, shade
Features: flowers
Hidden fields, interally pass variables to right place
Minimum Temp: °Fwarning.png"°F" is not a number.
USDA Zones: 5 to 9
Sunset Zones:
Flower features: red, pink, white
Trilliaceae > Trillium grandiflorum var. , (Michx.) Salisb.

Trillium grandiflorum, commonly known as white trillium, great white trillium, white wake-robin, or in French as trille blanc, is a perennial monocotyledonous plant in the lily family. It is native to eastern North America. The plant is most common in rich deciduous and mixed upland forests. It is easily recognised by its attractive three-petaled white flowers, opening from the late spring to the early summer, that rise above a whorl of three, leaf-like bracts.

Some forms of the species have pink instead of white petals, while others with extra petals, also called "double" forms, are naturally quite common in the species, and these are especially popular with Trillium gardeners. In fact, the species is the most popular of its genus in cultivation, which has led to conservation concerns due to the majority of commercially available plants being collected from the wild. A few regional governments in Canada and the United States have declared the plant vulnerable as a result.


T. grandiflorum is a perennial that grows from a short rhizome and produces a single, showy white flower atop a whorl of three leaves. These leaves are ovate (i.e. egg-shaped) in outline with pointed tips. They lack petioles (or have extremely short ones) and measure 12–20 cm long by 8–15 cm wide (5-8 in long by 3-6 in width), with very prominently engraved venation. The leaves and the stem share a dark green color and persist into autumn. Leaves and petals both have somewhat undulate margins, the leaves often much more strongly so. Individuals grow to between about 15 and 30 centimeters tall (6-12 inches).[1][2] A single rootstock will often form clonal colonies, which can become very large and dense.[3]

Detail of a leafy bract showing engraved venation

The erect, odorless flowers are large, especially compared to other species of Trillium, with 4 to 7 cm (1.5 to 2.7 in) long petals, depending on age and vigor. The petals are shaped much like the leaves and curve outward. They have a visible venation, though this is nowhere near as marked as on the leaves. Their overlapping bases and curve give the flower a distinctive funnel shape. Between the veined petals, three acuminate (ending with a long point) sepals are visible; they are usually a paler shade of green than the leaves, and are sometimes streaked with maroon. Flowers are perched on a pedicel (i.e. flower stalk) raising them above the leaf whorl, and grow pinker as they age.[1][2]

Flowers have six stamens in two whorls of three, which persist after fruiting. The styles are white and very short compared to the 9–27 mm (0.5–1 in) anthers, which are pale yellow but becomes a brighter shade when liberating pollen due to the latter's color. The ovary is six-sided with 3 greenish-white stigmas that are at first weakly attached, but fuse higher up. The fruit is a green, mealy and moist orb, and is vaguely six-sided like the ovary.[1][2]

Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Trillium grandiflorum, Salisb. Stout, 1 ft. or more high: lvs. broad-ovate or rhombic-ovate, narrowed to both ends, often wavy: fls. erect or nearly so, pure white, changing to rosy pink as they fade, 2-3 in. long, the petals broadly oblanceolate and spreading and much longer than the sepals. Que. to Minn., Fla., and Mo. T. grandiflorum is the best and handsomest species for cult. Var. roseum, Hort. (T. roseum, Hort.), is a form with pink fls. CH

The above text is from the Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture. It may be out of date, but still contains valuable and interesting information which can be incorporated into the remainder of the article. Click on "Collapse" in the header to hide this text.


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