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Common Names in English:
Great White Trillium, White Trillium, White Wake-Robin
Common Names in French:
; 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 grandiflorum Gothenburg pink strain
Rhizomes short, thick, praemorse
. Scapes (1–) 2–3(–many),
, 1.5–3+ dm, thick, glabrous
sessile or subsessile
(occasionally weakly cuneate basally) ; blade
dark green with maroon overtones early, ovate-rhombic, 12–20
× 8–15 cm, apex acuminate. Flower outfacing, erect
, flat, green, very rarely streaked
lanceolate, 20–55 × 12–23 mm, margins
entire, apex acuminate
or acute; petals erect basally, recurving somewhat above middle
corolla, obscuring ovary and base
style, white or rarely pink, without V-shaped or other markings,
fading to dull
pinkish purple, veins of adaxial
but not appearing engraved, shape
variable, lanceolate to oblong
, or, rarely, suborbicular
, sides often parallel, 4–7.5
× 2–4 cm, thin-textured, base abruptly attenuate, margins overlapping
basally, rolled, undulate-wavy in distal 1/2, apex ± acuminate; stamens
straight or barely recurved, 9–27 mm; filaments
shorter than anthers
, relatively thin; anthers recurving slightly,
yellow, strongly yellow when pollen exposed, long, 5–16
mm, slender, dehiscence introrse
; ovary inconspicuous, pale green
or white, ovoid
, 6-angled, 8–18 mm, basal attachment narrower
than ovary width; style barely united
for 0.5–2 mm or merely
closely grouped and separate; stigmas erect, becoming spreading,
basally, pale green-white, uniformly linear
mm, equaling or exceeding ovary, slender; pedicel erect-ascending
to strongly erect, 2–8+ cm. Fruits pale green, odorless, ±
, obscurely 6-angled, 1.2–1.6 × 0.8–1.4 cm, mealy
moist (not juicy). 2n = 10. [source]
Most variants of Trillium grandiflorum have green stripes or markings on the petals, many with numerous (4–30+) extra petals and/or bracts, and, often, much-deformed, monstrous characteristics. G. R. Hooper et al. (1971) showed that mycoplasmic organisms were present in all such forms examined, and were absent from normal plants . Most such forms should not be named taxonomically but, unfortunately, many have been. Nearly all of those that I examined represented stages in the development of the mycoplasma infection . Trillium grandiflorum, unlike most trilliums, produces many-petaled “double” forms. Forma roseum Farwell, opening a striking clear salmon-pink, occurs very rarely throughout the range , but is frequent in mixed or pure colonies along the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. [source]
Flowers: Bloom Period: April, May, June.
- Whittaker & Margulis,1978
- Haeckel, 1866
- Cavalier-Smith, 1981
- Sinnott, 1935 ex Cavalier-Smith, 1998
- Vascular Plants
- Kenrick & Crane, 1997
- Brongniart, 1843
- Takhtajan, 1967
- Takhtajan, 1967
- Perleb, 1826
- Batsch, 1802, nom. cons.
- C. Linnaeus, 1753
- Trille [Latin, trilix, triple, alluding to the flowers having parts in threes]
- Specific epithet:
- (Michaux) Salisbury, Parad. Lond. 1: plate 1. 1805.
ll, opening a striking clear salmon-pink,
- Botanical name: - Trillium grandiflorum Gothenburg pink strain (Michaux) Salisbury, Parad. Lond. 1: plate 1. 1805.
- Form: ll, opening a striking clear salmon-pink, occur
- Specific epithet: grandiflorum - (Michaux) Salisbury, Parad. Lond. 1: plate 1. 1805.
- Genus: Trillium () - C. Linnaeus, 1753 - Trille [Latin, trilix, triple, alluding to the flowers having parts in threes]
- Family: Melanthiaceae () - Batsch, 1802, nom. cons.
- Order: Liliales () - Perleb, 1826
- 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
Trillium erythrocarpum Curtis 1805 • Trillium rhomboideum Michaux var. grandiflorum Michaux
A tentatively accepted name in the RHS Horticultural Database.
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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- Patrick, T. S. 1973. Observations on the Life History of Trillium grandiflorum (Michaux) Salisbury. M.A. thesis. Cornell University.
- 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.
- Zipcode Zoo Species Identifier: 4488911