Trillium flexipes

flower
Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: nodding wakerobin 
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

Culture

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 white wake-robin, grows up to 2' high and is perhaps the tallest of the Missouri native trilliums. A branchless, naked stem is topped by three, evenly-spaced, sessile, heart-shaped, green, hosta-like leaves (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 three-leaf whorl. 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 comes from the Latin word tres meaning three in reference to the leaves, petals and sepals all coming in groups of three.

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.

Problems

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

Garden Uses

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.