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Trillium grandiflorum

Trillium grandiflorum
Price:  £6.50

Common name:  White wake robin
Type:  Herbaceous
Aspect:  Prefers partial shade
Colour:  White
Season:  Spring
Soil:  Moist
Size:  Small
Delivery:  Mail order only until COVID19 lockdown ends
Image:  WTGN



In stock

A clump forming woodland perennial, that grows wild in eastern North America, from northern Quebec to the southern parts of the United States, through the Appalachian Mountains and into northernmost Georgia and west to Minnesota. It is also found on Vancouver Island.

Trillium grandiflorum is a 'spring ephemeral' with a life-cycle that is synchronised with its favoured habitat, namely deciduous woodland. This means that growth, and in particular flowering, takes place in early spring before the leaf canopy above comes into leaf and light levels on the for forest floor radically decline - the familiar English Bluebell has precisely the same growth strategy, with an early spring flowering.

Trillium grandiflorum produces a very characteristic whorl of the three oval leaves with pointed tips on a stem about 10cm or so long, followed shortly thereafter, during April or May, by an erect, large, three petalled pure white flower that is devoid of fragrance. The flowers are held above the foliage on a short stalk (pedicel) and are tinged with pink as they age -although this colouration should not be mistaken for the very rare variant that has pink flowers through the growth cycle.

First described to science in 1803, Trillium grandiflorum will grow most happily in well-drained, neutral to slightly acid soils, under the protective canopy of deciduous trees or shrubs, conditions that simulate as closely as possible it native wild habitat. Soils that are rich in leaf litter and other organic matter are preferred so if necessary dig in well rotted garden compost before planting.

Trillium grandiflorum is very slow growing and the plants we sell are always several years old and are either of sufficient maturity to have initiated a flowering cycle, or are very close to such an age.

Trillium grandiflorum, although occasionally locally very abundant is now considered under some significant threat in the wild, with some populations entirely extirpated.

It is now thought that bumble bees are the primary pollination agent, and it has also been shown that ants play a critical role in distributing seeds, possibly because Trillium grandiflorum has evolved a mechanism to fool the ants into treating the seeds as an animal corpse which they then carry back to their nests. In addition to the seed dispersal advantage this confers it also means that Trillium seeds can germinate well below the soil surface which increases the likelihood that the slow-developing rhizome will survive the several years it takes to reach flowering age.

Awarded the RHS Award of Garden Merit, designated as the provincial emblem of Ontario and the state wild flower of Ohio.

with dark-mid green basal leaves. White flowers in spring, stalked with three petals, often fading to pink. Deep shade and humus rich soil preferred. Fully hardy. Eastern N. America H:40cm.