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Trillium erectum

red trillium add to wishlist

Plant types and subtypes: Perennials

Light Requirements: part-shade, shade

Water Use: medium

Soil Moisture: moist

Soil Description: acid, rich, loam

Height: 12"-18"

Bloom Time: April, May

Bloom Color: red, crimson, purple

Leaf Color: green

Hardiness Zone: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Additional Tags: berries, clumping, ornamental foliage, shade garden plant, woodland plant

Flower of Trillium erectum (red trillium)
  • Flower of Trillium erectum (red trillium)
  • Flower of Trillium erectum (red trillium)
  • Flower of Trillium erectum (red trillium)
  • Flower of Trillium erectum (red trillium)

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Description

Trillium erectum

Also known as:

red trillium

,

purple trillium

,

stinking Benjamin

,

wakerobin

Scientific Synonyms:

Description

Though the flowers of Trillium erectum are usually in shades of purple or crimson, they will sometimes tend towards light pink, and even whitish hues. The three petaled flowers appear mid to late spring, on 3" stems above the leaves, and will last for up to 3 weeks before giving way to fleshy berry-like fruit. The leaves can be up to 8" long, and across. The foliage dies back mid to late summer, when the plant enters dormancy.

Cultivation

Red trillium grows in deciduous forest, but likes being exposed to some direct sunlight early in its growing season. It prefers rich, organic, acid, well drained soil that remains consistently moist. Best planted in groups, it blooms mid to late spring, April or May. Combines beautifully with Phlox divaricata. One of the hardiest of trilliums: zones 3-7

Propagation

Established clumps can be divided in summer. Slow to propagate from seed.

Additional Notes

Once established, red trillium will form a clump with an increasing number of flowers. Mulching will help maintain adequate moisture and acidity levels. It has a slightly malodorous smell which it uses to attract its pollinators. All members of the Trillium genus have leaves and petals that grow in multiples of three, hence their botanical name.

Native Range & Classification

Recorded County Distribution: USDA data

Native Range:
AL, CT, GA, IL, IN, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, NC, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, SC, TN, VA, VT, WV

USDA Endangered Status:

  • Endangered: IL
  • Exploitably Vulnerable: NY
  • Threatened: RI

Classification

Kingdom Plantae Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta Flowering plants
Class Liliopsida Monocotyledons
Subclass Liliidae
Order Liliales
Family Liliaceae Lily family
Genus Trillium trillium
Species Trillium erectum red trillium