Trillium sessile L.
Toadshade, Red trillium, Wake-robin
Liliaceae (Lily Family)
USDA Symbol: TRSE2
A thick rhizome sends up a 4-12 in. stem with three broadly oval leaves at the apex. Flower sepals are spreading and green while the petals are ascending and deep-maroon. The petals elongate slightly as the flower ages and gradually turn yellowish green. The stalkless flower is directly above the 3 whorled leaves and appears closed, an impression created by its narrow, erect petals.
The flower somewhat resembles Purple Trillium (T. erectum) but is distinguished by its lack of stalk and closed appearance. Several other stalkless species that appear closed are Little Sweet Betsy (T. cuneatum), an ill-scented southeastern species with large flowers up to 3 (7.5 cm) long and weakly mottled leaves; Yellow Trillium (T. luteum), in southern and midwestern areas, with yellow, lemon-scented flowers and mottled leaves; Green Wake-Robin (T. viride), also in southern and midwestern areas, with narrow, greenish, clawed petals up to 2 (5 cm) long; and Prairie Trillium (T. recurvatum), a midwestern plant with erect, clawed, maroon petals, drooping sepals, and mottled leaves.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Size Class: 0-1 ft.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Red
Bloom Time: Apr
DistributionUSA: AL , AR , DC , IL , IN , KS , KY , MD , MI , MO , NC , NY , OH , OK , PA , TN , VA , WV
Native Distribution: PA to IN & MO, s. to NC, AL & AR
Native Habitat: Stream, river banks. Moist, rich woods.
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil Description: Moist, rich soils. Sandy, Sandy Loam
Conditions Comments: Not Available
PropagationDescription: Plant seed outdoors in fall and water if insufficient moisture occurs during the winter. Do not disturb seedlings the first growing season. To ensure success, plant numerous seeds and thin if necessary.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes
Find Seed or Plants
View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.
Mr. Smarty Plants says
Pictures and sources for black trilliums
June 10, 2008
Do you have pictures and/or sources for Black Trilliums?
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Native perennials for moist shade in Missouri
January 16, 2005
I live near Adrian, Mo (s of KC by an hour). I currently have a small hillside that is covered by trees and shaded all day and also seems to hold moisture really well. The hill seems to grow a littl...
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National Wetland Indicator Status
From the National Suppliers DirectoryAccording to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:
Edge of the Woods Native Plant Nursery - Orefield, PA
Sunshine Farm & Gardens - Renick, WV
American Native Nursery - Quakertown, PA
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE
BibliographyBibref 248 - Texas Wildflowers: A Field Guide (1984) Loughmiller, C. & L. Loughmiller
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From the ArchiveWildflower Newsletter 1987 VOL. 4, NO.1 - One Million Bequest Announced, Lady Bird Johnson On Celebrating Four Years, Spri...
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Trillium sessile in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Trillium sessile in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Trillium sessile
MetadataRecord Modified: 2010-06-11
Research By: TWC Staff