Common Names in English:
Jeweled Wake Robin, Confusing Trillium, Jeweled Wakerobin, Sweet White Trillium, Sweet White Wakerobin
; 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 simile
Rhizomes forming clumps
, stout, praemorse
. Scapes 1-many, round
, 3-6 dm, stout, glabrous
. Bracts sessile to subsessile
green, major veins prominent
, 10-18 × 10-20
cm, not glossy, tapered basally, apex short-acuminate. Flower above
to mostly leaning, odor faintly sweet, applelike; perianth
, strongly 3-dimensional; sepals spreading
, green, flat, oblanceolate-lanceolate,
20-40 × 6-15 mm, margins
entire, apex mildly sulcate
spreading-ascending, not recurved to weakly so at tip
, creamy white,
veins faintly engraved, ovate
to ovate-orbicular, 4-7+
× 1.5-4 cm, 1.5 times as long as sepals, heavy-textured, base
, margins entire, apex acuminate; stamens erect to weakly
recurved, 7-20 mm; filaments
purple or brownish, shorter than anthers
slender; anthers weakly recurved, yellow with brown undertones, 6-20
than ovary, slender, dehiscence introrse
purple-brown, not extending beyond anther sacs
; ovary dark purplish
, very strongly 6-angled, 7-12 mm, widely
attached basally; stigmas short, mildly recurved, distinct
or yellow, not lobed
adaxially, 2-5.5 mm, fleshy
, basally widened
to gradually tapered; pedicel ± erect to mostly leaning, 4-9
cm. Fruits baccate
, dark purplish black, odorless, orbicular
cm diam., fleshy, not juicy. [source]
A recent study of matK gene sequencing (S. Kazempour Osaloo et al. 1999) placed Trillium simile with the T. grandiflorum group and T. catesbaei, which has united styles and white-angled ovaries, not with the T. erectum group. In my opinion , this may reflect an error in labeling samples , for T. simile has the dark, round ovary with three, separate, subulate stigmas and other characteristics of the T. erectum alliance . Also, it hybridizes with T. erectum and other species of that alliance. L. Barksdale (1938) described a complex of forms that he considered to be the result of such hybridization. I have seen such complexes near Maryville, Tennessee, where T. simile and T. erectum forma album occur together with a full range of intergrades between the two. Trillium catesbaei and the species related to T. grandiflorum do not hybridize with any species, and all have slightly to clearly fused, linear styles. [source]
Clearly Trillium simile is closely related to T. vaseyi and T. erectum, but it seems to be a distinct species, though somewhat difficult to identify when not in its most robust condition. J. K . Small (1933) reported Trillium simile to be deliciously fragrant, a quality I have not noticed in my plants . [source]
Flowers: Bloom Period: March, April, May. • Flower Color: near white, white
Size: 12-18" tall.
Culture: Space 12-15" apart.
Soil: Minimum pH: 5.6 • Maximum pH: 7.5
Sunlight: Sun Exposure: Partial to Full Shade.
Temperature: Cold Hardiness: 3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 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
Trillium erectum f simile (Gleason) H. E. Ahles 1964 • Trillium Erectum Simile • Trillium erectum v simile (Gleason) Ihara 1978 • Trillium erectum v vaseyi f simile (Gleason) H. E. Ahles 1964 • Trillium erectum L. f. simile (Gleason) H.E.Ahles • Trillium vaseyi Harbison var. simile (Gleason) Barksdale • Trillium vaseyi v simile (Gleason) Barksd. 1938
Publishing author : Gleason Publication : Bull . Torrey Bot. Club 33: 391 1906
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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- 1997 IUCN red list of threatened plants Cambridge: IUCN, World Conservation Union, 1998 url p. 749.
- Manual of the southeastern flora: being descriptions of the seed plants growing naturally in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, eastern Louisiana, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. 1933 New York: The author, 1933. url p. 308.
- 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 November 21, 2007:
- Biodiversity Heritage Library NamebankID: 2662701
- Catalogue of Life Accepted Name Code: Kew-290620
- Global Biodiversity Information Facility Taxonkey: 13754803
- Globally Unique Identifier: urn:lsid:ipni.org:names:542603-1
- Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) Taxonomic Serial Number (TSN): 43089
- International Plant Names Index (IPNI) ID: 542603-1
- U.S.D.A. Plant Symbol: TRSI3
- Zipcode Zoo Species Identifier: 64272