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.
Trillium undulatum Willd.
Painted Trillium, Painted Wakerobin
Liliaceae (Lily Family)
USDA Symbol: TRUN
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)
This trillium has a slender stalk, 8-16 in. high, with a whorl of three, large, blue-green leaves. The flower, white with purple markings, is borne above the leaves on a short, arching stem. Bright-red fruits appear in early fall. This is a perennial plant. The erect, stalked flower has an inverted, reddish purple V at the base of each white, wavy-edged petal.
This is one of the most attractive woodland Trilliums. It is easily recognized by the splash of color in the center of the white flower.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Fruit Type: Berry
Size Notes: Up to about 16 inches tall.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Purple
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun
Bloom Notes: White, with or without reddish purple marks near base.
DistributionUSA: CT , GA , KY , MA , MD , ME , MI , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , RI , SC , TN , VA , VT , WV
Canada: MB , NB , NS , ON , PE , QC
Native Distribution: Que. to Ont., s. to NJ & PA; also uplands to GA
Native Habitat: Deep, acid, sandy woods
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Sun , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Soil Description: Moist, acid sands.
BenefitUse 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. Divide rhizomes in fall.
Commercially Avail: yes
Mr. Smarty Plants says
Michigan native plants for shady, low traffic area
May 10, 2006
Hello, I am looking for a recommendation for a Michigan native groundcover. I live adjacent to the Rouge River watershed and want to buy the right thing. The location is shady, infrequently walked ...
view the full question and answer
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:
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE
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...
Wildflower Newsletter 1993 VOL. 10, NO.2 - Berry Browsing in the Backyard, Director\'s Report, Essays on Trillium\'s, Natio...
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Trillium undulatum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Trillium undulatum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Trillium undulatum
MetadataRecord Modified: 2023-03-01
Research By: TWC Staff