Share

Native Plant Database

Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

Search native plant database:
Name:    
Family:    

Trillium grandiflorum (Large-flower wakerobin)
Gammill, Lynn Crosby

Trillium grandiflorum

Trillium grandiflorum (Michx.) Salisb.

Large-flower wakerobin, Large-flowered trillium, White trillium

Liliaceae (Lily Family)

Synonym(s):

USDA Symbol: trgr4

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

A stout, 12-15 in. stem is topped by three large, oval leaves. A single large, white, long-lasting flower arises above the leaf whorl and becomes pink as it matures. The large, solitary, waxy-white flower (turning pink with age) is on an erect stalk above a whorl of 3 broad leaves.

This largest and showiest trillium is frequently cultivated in wildflower gardens. The underground rootstalks were gathered and chewed by Native Americans for a variety of medicinal purposes. The plants have also been picked and eaten as cooked greens. This practice may be fatal to the plant, since these trilliums arise from the rootstalks, which often die if the leaves are removed.

 

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Flower:
Fruit: Red
Size Class: 1-3 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Pink
Bloom Time: May , Jun

Distribution

USA: AL , CT , DC , DE , GA , IL , IN , KY , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , SC , TN , VA , VT , WI , WV
Canada: ON , QC
Native Distribution: GA to TN, n. through mts. to New England (locally) & to s. Que, MI & MN
Native Habitat: Rich, mixed woods; thickets; swamps

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Soil Description: Moist, humus-rich, sandy loam.
Conditions Comments: A mulch of rotted or shredded leaves at the beginning at end of the season is beneficial.

Benefit

Use Wildlife: Other Showy Insects
Use Food: EDIBLE PARTS / PREPARATION: Young, unfolding leaves. Wash leaves in warm water to remove dirt and debris. Do not use dish detergent or any type of sanitizer. Cook in boiling, salted water for ten minutes and serve like greens. (Poisonous Plants of N.C.)
Use Medicinal: Some native peoples used snow trillium roots and rootstocks as medicine, and the young leaves are said to make excellent salad and cooked greens, but it would be a shame to kill such a beautiful plant. (Kershaw)
Warning: POISONOUS PARTS: Berries and roots. Only low toxicity if eaten. Toxic Principle: Toxicity unknown, but caution because of its relationship with known toxic plants.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes

Propagation

Description: Seeds do best when planted outdoors soon after fruits have ripened. Sow 1/2 deep. Flowers the fourth or fifth year. Rhizome division and rhizome wounding are methods of increasing existing plants. For the latter, remove the soil to expose the rhizome
Seed Collection: The fruit is a white, oval berry. Seeds mature within 5-6 weeks after the plant flowers. They are ready to collect when they are dark or beginning to darken. Store for short periods only by packing the whole berry in moist sphagnum sealed in a refrigerated container.
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

From the National Suppliers Directory

According to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:

Edge of the Woods Native Plant Nursery - Orefield, PA
Amandas Garden - Springwater, NY
Sunshine Farm & Gardens - Renick, WV
Prairie Nursery - Westfield, WI

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:

Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE
Longwood Gardens - Newark, DE
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE

From the Archive

Wildflower Newsletter1985 VOL. 2, NO.1 - A Glorious Spring, Lupines in Landscapes, Director's Report, Notable Quote, Wild...
Wildflower Newsletter1987 VOL. 4, NO.1 - One Million Bequest Announced, Lady Bird Johnson On Celebrating Four Years, Spri...
Wildflower Newsletter1990 VOL. 7, NO.3 - Is Wildflower Collecting a Good School Activity, Wildflower Center Study Finds C...
Wildflower Newsletter1990 VOL. 7, NO.4 - Research Update, Wild-Collecting Endangers Natives, Director's Report, Maryland ...
Wildflower Newsletter1993 VOL. 10, NO.2 - Berry Browsing in the Backyard, Director\'s Report, Essays on Trillium\'s, Natio...

Additional resources

USDA: Find Trillium grandiflorum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Trillium grandiflorum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Trillium grandiflorum

Metadata

Record Last Modified: 2007-01-01
Research By: TWC Staff

Go back