Common Names in English:
Sweet Wakerobin, Sweet Beth, Sweet Trillium, Vasey's Trillium, Vaseys Trillium
; 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 vaseyi
Rhizomes short, stout, praemorse
. Scapes 1-2 per rhizome terminus,
, 3-6.5 dm, ± slender to stout, glabrous
Bracts sessile to subsessile
, 10-20 × 6-20 cm,
often wider than long, not glossy, base
attenuate, apex acuminate.
Flower carried beneath
bracts, odor faintly sweet; sepals spreading
green, lanceolate-acuminate, 25-50 × 6-18 mm, margins
, apex acuminate; petals spreading to recurved distally,
adaxially crimson, maroon-red, or brownish red, abaxially paler,
grayish pink or rose, veins engraved, ovate-suborbicular, 3-6.5 ×
4-6 cm, somewhat fleshy
, base rounded and overlapping, margins entire,
apex acute; stamens conspicuous
, ± erect
to weakly recurved,
15-25 mm, longer
than pistil at anthesis
to blackish purple, longer than anthers
, 5-12 mm, slender; anthers
weakly recurving, grayish purple to maroon, slender, dehiscence introrse
purple, barely equaling anther sacs
; ovary small, maroon
or dark reddish purple, ± globose
to conical-pyramidal, 6-ridged,
3-12 mm, basal attachment less than ovary width; stigmas erect, recurved,
, gray-purple, not lobed
adaxially, basally widened, ±
distally, 2.5-6.5 mm, fleshy; pedicel horizontal to declined-drooping,
± straight, 2-13 cm. Fruits dark reddish maroon, ovoid
, relatively small, 1-1.4 × 1-2 cm, pulpy. 2n = 10. [source]
Although sometimes submerged within Trillium erectum, T. vaseyi has a later blooming season , a nodding flower of much larger size, a sweet fragrance, and cove habitat unlike that of T. erectum. In my garden hybridization experiments, T. vaseyi hybrids have different color patterns than T. erectum hybrids. Trillium vaseyi is clearly a distinct species. It frequently hybridizes with T. rugelii. [source]
Flowers: Bloom Period: April, May, June. • Flower Color: green, maroon
Size: 6-12" tall.
Culture: Space 6-9" apart.
Soil: Minimum pH: 5.6 • Maximum pH: 7.5
Sunlight: Sun Exposure: Light Shade.
Temperature: Cold Hardiness: 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b. (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 L. var. vaseyi (Harb.) H.E.Ahles • Trillium erectum Linnaeus var. vaseyi (Harbison) H. E. Ahles • Trillium erectum var. album Pursh • Trillium erectum var. flavum Torr. • Trillium erectum vaseyi (Harbison) Ahles
Publishing author : Harb. Publication : Biltmore Bot. Stud. 1(1): 24 1901 [8 Apr 1901]
It is easy to confuse this Trillium with the Red Erect Trillium. The flower stalk hangs below the leaves and the petals of Vasey's trillium are curved backward.
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 November 22, 2007:
- Biodiversity Heritage Library NamebankID: 2662673
- Catalogue of Life Accepted Name Code: Kew-290431
- Global Biodiversity Information Facility Taxonkey: 13754699
- Globally Unique Identifier: urn:lsid:ipni.org:names:542616-1
- Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) Taxonomic Serial Number (TSN): 43061
- International Plant Names Index (IPNI) ID: 258402-2
- U.S.D.A. Plant Symbol: TRERV3
- Zipcode Zoo Species Identifier: 66849
- 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 vaseyi". in Flora of North America Vol. 26 Page 93, 103, 104, 105. Oxford University Press. Online at EFloras.org. [back]