Trillium grandiflorum
Common Name: wood lily
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Melanthiaceae
Native Range: Eastern North America
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Spread: 0.75 to 1.00 feet
Bloom Time: April to June
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Naturalize
Flower: Showy

Culture

Easily grown in deep, rich, humusy, moist but well-drained soils in part shade to full shade. Needs regular watering. Apply leaf mulch in fall. Rhizomatous plant that can be slow and difficult to propagate from seed. Spreads very gradually if left undisturbed.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Trillium grandiflorum, commonly known as great white trillium or wood lily, is a simple, graceful perennial that is one of the most familiar and beloved of the spring woodland wildflowers in eastern North America. It is native to rich woods and thickets from Quebec to Ontario to Minnesota south to Alabama and Georgia. Leaves, petals and sepals all come in groups of three. From an underground rhizome, a stout, unbranched, naked stem rises in spring to 8-18" tall topped by an apical whorl of three prominently-veined, ovate to egg-shaped, green leaves (each typically to 3-4" long but sometimes to 6"). From the center of the leaf whorl emerges a single flower in April-May on an erect to leaning stalk rising above the leaves to 2-3" tall (pedunculate). Each flower (to 3 1/2" across) has three flaring, ovate, wavy-edged, white petals subtended by three smaller green sepals. Flower petals are reflexed at the tips. Flowers acquire pink tones with age. Flowers give way to berry-like capsules. Seeds are disbursed by ants. Foliage will usually die to the ground by late summer, particularly if soils are allowed to dry. Additional common names for this trillium include large-flowered trillium and wake-robin.

Genus name comes from the Latin word tres meaning three in reference to the leaves, petals and sepals all coming in groups of three.

Specific epithet means large-flowered.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Watch for slugs and snails. Potential disease problems include leaf spot, smut and rust. This flower does not transplant well.

Garden Uses

Woodland gardens and moist shady borders.