Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!


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.

Enter a Plant Name:
Or you can choose a plant family:
Trillium grandiflorum (White wake-robin)
Cressler, Alan

Trillium grandiflorum

Trillium grandiflorum (Michx.) Salisb.

White Wake-robin, White Trillium, Large-flower Wake-robin, Large-flower Trillium, Large-flowered Wake-robin, Large-flowered Trillium

Liliaceae (Lily Family)


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.

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. This practice may have been fatal to the plant, since these trilliums arise from the rootstalks, which often die if the leaves are removed.


From the Image Gallery

98 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Fruit Type: Berry
Size Notes: Up to about 15 inches tall.

Bloom Information

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


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.


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


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.
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE
Longwood Gardens - Kennett Square, PA
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

From the Archive

Wildflower Newsletter 1985 VOL. 2, NO.1 - A Glorious Spring, Lupines in Landscapes, Director's Report, Notable Quote, Wild...
Wildflower Newsletter 1987 VOL. 4, NO.1 - One Million Bequest Announced, Lady Bird Johnson On Celebrating Four Years, Spri...
Wildflower Newsletter 1990 VOL. 7, NO.3 - Is Wildflower Collecting a Good School Activity, Wildflower Center Study Finds C...
Wildflower Newsletter 1990 VOL. 7, NO.4 - Research Update, Wild-Collecting Endangers Natives, Director's Report, Maryland ...
Wildflower Newsletter 1993 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


Record Modified: 2023-02-28
Research By: TWC Staff

Go back