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
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.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Size Class: 1-3 ft.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Pink
Bloom Time: May , Jun
DistributionUSA: 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 ConditionsLight 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.
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.)
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
PropagationDescription: 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 Organizations DirectoryAccording 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
From the ArchiveWildflower 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 resourcesUSDA: Find Trillium grandiflorum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Trillium grandiflorum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Trillium grandiflorum
MetadataRecord Modified: 2014-09-24
Research By: TWC Staff