Trillium flexipes

Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: white wake robin 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Melanthiaceae
Native Range: Northern United States
Zone: 4 to 7
Height: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: April to May
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Flower: Showy


Easily grown in rich, humusy, medium moisture, well-drained soil in part shade to full shade. Needs regular watering. Rhizomatous plant that is difficult to propagate from seed.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Trillium flexipes, sometimes commonly called nodding wakerobin, grows up to 2' high and is perhaps the tallest of the Missouri native trilliums. A branchless, naked stem is topped by a whorl of three, evenly-spaced, sessile, broadly rhombic to obovate, leaf-like bracts (up to 9" across). The flower (2.5" across) features three large white petals with three narrow green sepals and floats on a short stalk above the center of the whorl of bracts. A clump-forming plant with stems arising from thick, underground rhizomes which will spread slowly if left undisturbed. Foliage will usually die to the ground by mid-summer, particularly if the soil is allowed to dry out.

Genus name means "triple lily", in reference to how all the main parts of the plant occur in threes. Linnaeus originally placed this genus in the Liliaceae family.

The trillium is a simple, graceful perennial that is one of the most familiar and beloved of the spring woodland wildflowers. Leaves, petals and sepals of all trilliums come in groups of three.


No serious insect or disease problems. This flower does not transplant well and should be left alone in the wild.


A classic spring-blooming, woodland wildflower. Excellent when massed in a shaded woodland garden, naturalized area or wildflower garden. Mixes well with other spring wildflowers and ferns. Not recommended for the perennial border.