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Trillium ovatum Pursh
Pacific Trillium, Pacific Wake-robin, Western Trillium, Western Wake-robin, Coast Trillium, Coast Wake-robin
Liliaceae (Lily Family)
USDA Symbol: TROV2
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)
The 8-20 in. stem of this variable trillium bears leaves in a whorl of three. The flower rises on a short leafless stalk above the leaves and is white, fading to rose at the end of a week. Very large-flowered forms come from the Siskiyous of n.w. CA. This is a perennial plant.
The name Wake Robin indicates that the flowers bloom in early spring, about the time the robin arrives. Only one other species in the West has a stalk between the flower and the leaves, Klamath Trillium (T. rivale), of northwestern California and southwestern Oregon. Giant Wake Robin (T. chloropetalum), which grows in dense patches west of the Cascade Mountains and in the Sierra Nevada, has no stalks at the base of the mottled leaves. Its petals vary from white to maroon; if maroon, usually with a white base. Roundleaf Trillium (T. petiolatum), from eastern Washington and Oregon, has long stalks on the leaves and dark red-brown petals.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 20 inches tall.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Red , Pink , Purple
Bloom Time: Feb , Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul
Bloom Notes: White or with pink markings. Fades to rosy pink, purple, or dark red.
DistributionUSA: CA , CO , ID , MT , OR , WA , WY
Canada: AB , BC
Native Distribution: B.C. to s.w. Alt., s. through Coast Ranges to Monterey Co. & Rockies to CO
Native Habitat: Moist, wooded slopes; stream banks
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist , Wet
Drought Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Cool, moist soils.
Conditions Comments: Do not let them dry out.
BenefitUse 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.)
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
PropagationDescription: Rhizome division or seed. Seeds do best when planted outdoors soon after fruits have ripened. Seedlings take many years to bloom. Divide rhizomes in fall.
Seed Treatment: 1 month stratification is necessary.
Commercially Avail: yes
Find Seed or Plants
Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.
National Wetland Indicator Status
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR
BibliographyBibref 928 - 100 easy-to-grow native plants for Canadian gardens (2005) Johnson, L.; A. Leyerle
Search More Titles in Bibliography
Web ReferenceWebref 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 ArchiveWildflower Newsletter 1987 VOL. 4, NO.1 - One Million Bequest Announced, Lady Bird Johnson On Celebrating Four Years, Spri...
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Trillium ovatum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Trillium ovatum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Trillium ovatum
MetadataRecord Modified: 2023-03-01
Research By: TWC Staff