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Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum)

Information courtesy of Magna Vista High School students



Trillium is often called white Trillium or wood lily. The name came from the Swedish word trilling: tri meaning three because of its three petals.


The family of the Trillium is melanthiaceae. Common members of this family are bear grass and veratrum.


It is native to the southeastern United States.


Trillium can be defined as both a threatened or an endangered species.


The flower only blooms in late March or early April. The plant goes dormant in summer, and the white flowers fade to pink as the flower ages. The Trillium looks similar to a wild Lily and spreads by seed. The Trillium grandiflorum (white) has a larger flower but is rarer than other forms of Trillium. The leaf has an undulate leaf margin, linear shape, acute apex, and the base is rounded.


Ants are attracted to the fleshy organ in the mature seeds and carry the seeds back to their nest to plant the seed. They are pollinated by honeybees, bumblebees, and wasps.


If you pick a Trillium it severely injures the plant, which could take years to recover. In many jurisdictions, picking Trillium is illegal.


An astringent was once made from the Trillium root to control bleeding and diarrhea. It is also used in a lot of gardens and mixes well with other spring wildflowers.


Gloria. “White Trillium.” Virginia Wildflowers,, 9 Apr. 2015,


Lobstein, Marion Blois. “Trillium: A Family to Call Its Own.” Prince William Wildflower Society, Virginia Native Plant Society, 0ADAD,


Reflector, FH Browne. “Trillium Is the Flower No One Should Pick.” The Reflector, The Reflector, 10 Apr. 2013,

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