Great White Trillium, Trillium grandiflorum

Great White Trillium

Trillium grandiflorum

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Sun Shade: Plant Light Requirements Graphic
Bloom Time: Late Spring/Early Summer
Hardiness Zones: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
Soil Conditions: Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil Moisture: Medium, Dry
Color: Pink, White
Fragrance: No
Height: 1-2 feet
Spacing: 1 foot

Great White Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum), Wake-Robin or Wood Lily is a simple, graceful perennial that is one of the most familiar and beloved of the spring woodland wildflowers in Wisconsin. It is native to rich woods and thickets. Leaves, petals and sepals all come in groups of three. From an underground rhizome, a stout, unbranched, naked stem rises in spring to 8-18 inches tall topped by an apical whorl of three prominently-veined, ovate to egg-shaped, green leaves (each typically to 3-4 inches long). From the center of the leaf whorl emerges a single flower in April-May on an erect to leaning stalk rising above the leaves to 2-3 inches tall. Each flower has three flaring, ovate, wavy-edged, white petals subtended by three smaller green sepals. Flower petals are reflexed at the tips. Flowers acquire pink tones with age.

The blooming period occurs from mid- to late spring and lasts about 3 weeks. Each flower is replaced by a 6-angled seed capsule that becomes dark with age. It eventually splits open to release the seeds. The root system consists of a vertical rootstock with fibrous roots; spreading rhizomes are also produced. Occasionally, this wildflower forms loose colonies of variable size. Seeds are disbursed by ants. Foliage will usually die to the ground by late summer, particularly if soils are allowed to dry.

Habitats include rich deciduous woodlands, swamps, and shaded riverbanks. Occasionally, Large-Flowered Trillium is cultivated in shade gardens, but it is expensive and difficult to obtain. Wild-collected plants should be avoided.

Easily grown in deep, rich, humusy, moist but well-drained soils in part shade to full shade. Rhizomatous plant that can be slow and difficult to propagate from seed. Spreads very gradually if left undisturbed.

 Plant Notes and Herbal Uses
  Deer will eat the foliage
  Roots are rhizomes
  Provides cover for small mammals
 Further Information

 Wisconsin Fruit Trees
 Wisconsin Edible Berry Shrubs
 Widsconsin Edible Plants-Eat On The Wild Side
 8 Dandelion Recipes
 Wisconsin Native Plant Nurseries

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