Common Names in English:
Giant Trillium, Giant White Wakerobin, Sessile Trillium, White Toadshade
; rhizomes subterranean
, horizontal or semierect, monopodial, unbranched or weakly branched, elongated to thick and fleshy
, compressed-shortened, distal end tapered to point
, apex bearing large terminal
cataphylls, and contractile, adventitious, ringed roots
. Scapes arising from terminal bud or axil of adjacent
(subterranean in T. petiolatum), erect
, straight (decumbent
, S-shaped in T. decumbens and T. reliquum). Bracts on mature
in whorl of 3, uniformly green or mottled
or sessile, venation
palmate-reticulate, with 3-5 major veins, ovate
. Inflorescences terminal, 1-flowered. Flowers: some totally to partially syncarpous
or sessile; sepals persistent
, 3, distinct
, green, maroon, or with maroon markings, foliaceous, oblong
, ovate, or lanceolate, alternating with bracts; petals shriveling after anthesis
, typically 3, erect, spreading
, or recurved, distinct, red, purple, pink, white, yellow, green, or combination
of these, ovate or obovate to linear
, sometimes clawed; stamens 6, alternating in 2 whorls of 3, erect, incurved
, or divergent; filaments
mostly short, basally expanded; anthers
2-locular, ± equaling or longer
than filaments, dehiscence extrorse
, or introrse
flat between (or in some species extending beyond) anther sacs
; ovary superior, proximal
portion 3-locular, 3- or 6-lobed, some axile
, some parietal
or a combination of both, distal portion forming stigmas; stigmas often persistent, 3, spreading, twisted, or erect, sometimes connate
, sessile or with very short style, linear to subulate
. Fruits capsular
, fleshy with obscure
sutures, not or rarely dehiscent
along sutures, each shed as unit
through abscission of thin-walled cells
. Seeds many, elliptic
, 2-4 mm, bearing white or yellowish, large, oily, myrmecochorous elaiosome (aril). x
= 5. 2n = 10 in all American species recorded.
Species 43: North America, Asia.
Trillium is traditionally divided into two subgenera , which overlap in some characters. Botanists consider subg. Trillium to be the more primitive group, because the genera considered closest to Trillium all have pedicellate flowers, as does subg. Trillium, except for one variety of T. pusillum that bears sessile to only barely pedicillate flowers.
There is not yet agreement among taxonomists about the relationships among the species within the genus. Certain ones, such as Trillium recurvatum and T. lancifolium, clearly are closely related, but the interrelationships of many others are not obvious. In the absence of definitive studies, the species are listed here alphabetically within subgenera. Several species of Trillium contain sapogenins that have been used medicinally as astringents, coagulants , expectorants , and uterine stimulants, hence the common names birthwort and Indian balm, and T. erectum, T. grandiflorum, and possibly other species have been utilized commercially as beth root (W. B . Zomlefer 1996). Fruits, seeds, and rhizomes of trilliums are generally considered to be poisonous. Deer, however, feed voraciously on T. grandiflorum plants, especially in early spring . Gardeners and wildflower enthusiasts, over most of the temperate zones of the world, consider trilliums to be among the most beautiful of wildflowers. Species of Trillium exhibit few and obscure structural differences, making key construction difficult (J. D. Freeman 1975).
Species Trillium albidum
Rhizomes horizontal, ± erect , brown, superficially bulblike, short, thick, not brittle. Scapes often several from same rhizome terminus, round in cross section , 2.2-5.8 dm, stout. Bracts held well above ground , sessile; blade weakly mottled with scattered , darker green spots, mottling often fading later in season , broadly ovate , 10-20 × 12-15 cm, not glossy, base rounded , apex obtuse . Flower borne directly upon bracts, erect, fragrance roselike; sepals conspicuous , spreading , displayed above bracts, pale green, lanceolate, 30-65 × 12-15 mm, margins entire, apex acute; petals long-lasting, usually erect or slightly spreading, ± connivent, ± concealing stamens and ovary basally, white to creamy white, rarely soft pinkish rose near base, veins prominent but not engraved, not spirally twisted, obovate , more lanceolate in young plants , 4.8-8 × 2.2-3 cm, widest at or just above middle, ± thick-textured, base cuneate, margins entire, ± flat, apex rounded to acute; stamens erect, greenish white, 15-25 mm; filaments whitish green, 3-4 mm, slender; anthers erect, straight, yellow, 11-20 mm, dehiscence latrorse ; connectives straight, extended ca. 1 mm beyond anther sacs , rounded; ovary green or occasionally purple, ovoid , rounded 6-gonal, 6-11 mm; stigmas erect to spreading, distinct , sessile, subulate , 4-7 mm, thin distally. Fruits green or purplish green, fragrance unknown, ovoid to globose , pulpy, juicy. [source]
Flowers: Bloom Period: February, March, April. • Flower Color: near white, white
Size: 12-18" tall.
Moist slopes in rich mixed deciduous-coniferous forests or coniferous stands, brushy thickets on flats, open fields , pastures, and fencerows, dense second-growth coniferous forests, floodplains along streams and larger rivers ; 100--200 m .
Temperature: Cold Hardiness: 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b. (map)
- Whittaker & Margulis,1978
- Haeckel, 1866
- Cavalier-Smith, 1981
- Sinnott, 1935 ex Cavalier-Smith, 1998
- Vascular Plants
- Kenrick & Crane, 1997
- Brongniart, 1843
- Takhtajan, 1967
- Superorder: Lilianae () - Takhtajan, 1967
- Subclass: Liliidae () - Takhtajan, 1967
- Class: Spermatopsida () - Brongniart, 1843
- Infraphylum: Radiatopses () - Kenrick & Crane, 1997
- Subphylum: Euphyllophytina ()
- Phylum: Tracheophyta () - Sinnott, 1935 ex Cavalier-Smith, 1998 - Vascular Plants
- Subkingdom: Viridaeplantae () - Cavalier-Smith, 1981
- Kingdom: Plantae () - Haeckel, 1866 - Plants
Publishing author : J.D.Freeman Publication : Brittonia 27(1): 48 (1975).
Members of the genus Trillium
ZipcodeZoo has pages for 58 species, subspecies, varieties, forms, and cultivars in this genus:
T. albidum (Giant Trillium) · T. angustipetalum (Narrowpetal Wakerobin) · T. catesbaei (Bashful Wakerobin) · T. cernuum (Nodding Trillium) · T. chloropetalum (Giant Wakerobin) · T. chloropetalum (Torr.) Howell var. chloropetalum (Torr.) T.J.Howell (Giant Wakerobin) · T. chloropetalum giganteum (Giant Wakerobin) · T. chloropetalum var. chloropetalum (Giant Wakerobin) · T. chloropetalum var. giganteum (Giant Wakerobin) · T. cuneatum (Little Sweet Betsy) · T. decipiens (Chattahoochee River Wakerobin) · T. decumbens (Trailing Trillium) · T. discolor (Mottled Wakerobin) · T. erectum (Red Erect Trillium) · T. erectum f. albiflorum (White Erect Trillium) · T. erectum var. japonicum (Stinking Benjamin) · T. flexipes (Bent Trillium) · T. foetidissimum (Mississippi River Wakerobin) · T. gracile (Sabine River Wakerobin) · T. grandiflorum (Great White Trillium) · T. grandiflorum f. polymerum 'Flore Pleno' (Double-Flowered American Wake-Robin) · T. grandiflorum Gothenburg pink strain (Great White Trillium) · T. grandiflorum 'Flore Pleno' (Trillium) · T. kamtschaticum (Trillium) · T. kurabayashi (Wake Robin) · T. kurabayashii (Giant Purple Wakerobin) · T. lancifolium (Lanceleaf Wakerobin) · T. ludovicianum (Louisiana Wakerobin) · T. luteum (Lemon Trillium) · T. maculatum (Spotted Wakerobin) · T. nivale (Dwarf White Wakerobin) · T. ovatum (Pacific Trillium) · T. ovatum oettingeri (Oettinger's Trillium) · T. ovatum 'Roy Elliott' (Western Trillium) · T. parviflorum (Smallflower Wakerobin) · T. persistens (Persistent Trillium) · T. petiolatum (Idaho Trillium) · T. pusillum (Dwarf Wakerobin) · T. pusillum var. ozarkanum (Ozark Wake-Robin) · T. pusillum var. pusillum (Dwarf Wakerobin) · T. pusillum var. virginianum (Virginia Wakerobin) · T. rectum (Stinking Benjamin) · T. recurvatum (Bloody Butcher) · T. reliquum (Confederate Wakerobin) · T. reliquum f. luteum (Relic Trillium) · T. rivale (Brook Wakerobin) · T. rugelii (Ill-Scented Wakerobin) · T. sessile (Common Toad Shade) · T. simile (Jeweled Wake Robin) · T. stamineum (Blue Ridge Wakerobin) · T. sulcatum (Barksdales Trillium) · T. texanum (Texas Trillium) · T. tschonoskii (Tschonoskis Wake Robin) · T. underwoodii (Lonbract Wakerobin) · T. undulatum (Painted Trillium) · T. vaseyi (Sweet Wakerobin) · T. viride (Wood Wakerobin) · T. viridescens (Tapertip Wakerobin)
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- Berg, R. Y. 1958. Seed dispersal, morphology, and phylogeny of Trillium. Skr. Norske Vidensk.-Akad. Oslo, Mat.-Natkurvidensk. Kl. 1958(1): 1-36.
- Case, F. W. and G. L. Burrows. 1962. The genus Trillium in Michigan: Some problems of distribution and taxonomy. Pap. Michigan Acad. Sci. 47: 180-200.
- Case, F. W. and R. B. Case. 1997. Trilliums. Portland. Gates, R. R. 1917b. A systematic study of the North American genus Trillium, its variability and its relation to Paris and Medeola. Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 4: 43-92.
- Kato, H. et al. 1995. Evolutionary biology of Trillium and related genera (Trilliaceae). 1. Restriction site mapping and variation of chloroplast DNA and its systematic implications. Pl. Spec. Biol. 10: 7-30.
- Kazempour Osaloo, S., F. H. Utech, M. Ohara, and S. Kawano. 1999. Molecular systematics of Trilliaceae I. Phylogenetic analyses of Trillium using matK gene sequences. J. Pl. Res. 112: 35-49.
- Samejima, K. and J. Samejima. 1987. Trillium Genus Illustrated. Sapporo.
- Brands, S.J. (comp.) 1989-present. The Taxonomicon. Universal Taxonomic Services, Zwaag, The Netherlands. Accessed January 9, 2012.
Accessed through GBIF Data Portal December 01, 2007:
- Berkeley Natural History Museums, University and Jepson Herbaria DiGIR provider
- Oregon State University, Vascular Plant Collection
- USDA PLANTS, USDA PLANTS Database
- University of Washington Burke Museum, Vascular Plant Collection - University of Washington Herbarium
- Biodiversity Heritage Library NamebankID: 2662667
- Catalogue of Life Accepted Name Code: Kew-290529
- Global Biodiversity Information Facility Taxonkey: 13754706
- Globally Unique Identifier: urn:lsid:ipni.org:names:542509-1
- Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) Taxonomic Serial Number (TSN): 43055
- International Plant Names Index (IPNI) ID: 258287-2
- U.S.D.A. Plant Symbol: TRAL4
- Zipcode Zoo Species Identifier: 64309
- Frederick W. Case Jr. "Trillium". in Flora of North America Vol. 26 Page 51, 54, 56, 90, 91, 97, 101, 110, 113, 150. Oxford University Press. Online at EFloras.org. [back]
- "Trillium albidum". in Flora of North America Vol. 26 Page 94, 106, 107, 113. Oxford University Press. Online at EFloras.org. [back]