Common Names in English:
Smallflower Wakerobin, Small-Flowered 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 parviflorum
Rhizomes horizontal to ± erect
, brownish, thick, praemorse
not brittle. Scapes 1-3, round
, 1.7-3 dm, slender
. Bracts held well above ground
, sessile; blade
green with widely scattered
mottling, mottling becoming obscure
to broadly ovate, 6.5-16 × 5-8 cm, not glossy, apex
. Flower erect, odor spicy, of cloves; sepals displayed above
, divergent, green, lanceolate, 16-25 × 4-8
entire, flat, apex variously obtuse to rounded
long-lasting, erect to erect-spreading, ± connivent, ±
concealing stamens and ovary, white, occasionally purple stained
basally, sometimes weakly spirally twisted, linear
2.2-4.5 × 0.4-1 cm, thin-textured, base
margins entire, apex obtuse; stamens erect, 10-15.5 mm; filaments
white, greenish white, or purple stained, 1-3 mm, much shorter than
, slender; anthers erect, straight, greenish white, 9-11+
mm, ± slender, dehiscence latrorse
barely extended (to 0.4 mm) beyond anther sacs
; ovary green or green
and purple basally, ovoid
, obscurely 6-gonal, 4-8 mm; stigmas erect,
± divergent, distinct
, green, outer surface purple, subulate
3-4.5 mm, ± fleshy
, thickened. Fruits dark reddish purple
or maroon, fragrance not reported, subglobose, ± 1 cm, ±
juicy. 2n = 10. [source]
Trillium parviflorum varies from very short, slender, small-bracted plants to tall, broad, umbrella-bracted giants. Regardless of plant or bract sizes, flower and petal sizes are remarkably constant, all plants having small, linear-lanceolate petals. This is not usually the case with T. albidum, the species with which this plant is most likely to be confused. In T. albidum also the plants can be enormous, but when they are, the petals are very long, broad, and conspicuously obovate-diamond-shaped. In large clonal clumps of T. albidum, the larger and more mature offsets show the typical petal shape, while the smaller and presumably youngest offsets sometimes produce smaller, narrower petals, more like those of T. parviflorum. [source]
Some western botanists, more experienced with local populations than I, do not consider Trillium parviflorum to be distinct from T. albidum. They point out that since there is an extensive region of apparent intergradation (as indeed there is, well supported by herbarium vouchers ), there exists a morphological cline from the long- and wide-petaled T. albidum to the narrower- and generally shorter-petaled T. parviflorum, and that T. parviflorum, therefore, should not be considered a separate species but rather a subspecies or a variety. Since no one to date has treated T. parviflorum at the subspecific or varietal level, and since in my own limited experience it does appear as a distinct species in Washington north of the Columbia River , I include it here as treated by Soukup. I have seen populations of considerable variation north of Corvallis, Oregon, and agree that there is much overlap with T. albidum. Obviously there is need for a much more extensive study of this situation. A factor that exacerbates this problem (and many others in Trillium), is that nutrition, age, and even favorable position in the habitat can greatly influence plant and floral organ sizes. In many species, including T. albidum, when a single vigorous clonal clump produces many offsets, the oldest offsets may have flowers with very large petals, sepals, ovary, etc. , while the younger offsets may have organs only half the size. In most sessile trilliums particularly, population averages are often more useful than isolated individual measurements , a difficult situation, indeed. [source]
Flowers: Bloom Period: February, March, April, May.
Mature fir (Abies), spruce (Picea), and hardwood forests in rich humus with mosses, open, somewhat grassy large groves of old oaks, with considerable underbrush and rather few herbaceous companions, in tangled, wet stream-bank alders (Alnus sp. ), grasses, open clay hillside soils among shrubs ; 20--60 m .
- 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 : V.G.Soukup Publication : Brittonia 32: 330, fig 1980
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.
- Bisby, F.A., Y.R. Roskov, M.A. Ruggiero, T.M. Orrell, L.E. Paglinawan, P.W. Brewer, N. Bailly, J. van Hertum, eds (2007). Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2007 Annual Checklist. Species 2000: Reading, U.K.
- Brands, S.J. (comp.) 1989-present. The Taxonomicon. Universal Taxonomic Services, Zwaag, The Netherlands. Accessed January 9, 2012.
- Global Biodiversity Information Facility. Accessed February 28, 2008. http://www.gbif.org Mediated distribution data from 2 providers.
- Ruggiero M., Gordon D., Bailly N., Kirk P., Nicolson D. (2011). The Catalogue of Life Taxonomic Classification, Edition 2, Part A. In: Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2011 Annual Checklist (Bisby F.A., Roskov Y.R., Orrell T.M., Nicolson D., Paglinawan L.E., Bailly N., Kirk P.M., Bourgoin T., Baillargeon G., Ouvrard D., eds). DVD; Species 2000: Reading, UK.
- The International Plant Names Index. Accessed Dec 27, 2011.
- "Trillium parviflorum". in Flora of North America Vol. 26 Page 94, 113. Published by Oxford University Press. Online at EFloras.org.
- USDA, NRCS. 2005. The PLANTS Database, Version 3.5 (http://plants.usda.gov). National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.
- World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. Release date: November 27, 2009
Accessed through GBIF Data Portal February 28, 2008:
- Oregon State University: Vascular Plant Collection
- USDA PLANTS: USDA PLANTS Database
- Biodiversity Heritage Library NamebankID: 9327467
- Catalogue of Life Accepted Name Code: Kew-290601
- Globally Unique Identifier: urn:lsid:ipni.org:names:542582-1
- Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) Taxonomic Serial Number (TSN): 505593
- International Plant Names Index (IPNI) ID: 258353-2
- U.S.D.A. Plant Symbol: TRPA11
- Zipcode Zoo Species Identifier: 64952