Table of Contents
Trillium, Red Trillium, Purple Trillium, Ill-Scented Trillium, Birthroot,
Birthwort, Bathwort, Bathflower, Red Wake-Robin, Red-Benjamin, Bumblebee
Root, Daffy-Downdilly, Dishcloth, Indian Balm, Indian Shamrock, Nosebleed,
Squawflower, Squawroot, Wood Lily. These common names also apply
to other species.
The species authority for Trillium erectum is Carolus
Linnaeus. Trillium erectum has petals that are usually marroon or
white, with anther the same color. Its leaves are unmottled, shaped
from rhombic to rhombic-ovate and 8-18 cm long with width 6-25 cm.
The leaves are short-petiolate to sessile, usually wider than long.
The stems are 2-5 dm in height and purplish to green in color. Its
rhizome are 2-6 cm long and 10-25 mm in diameter. Trillium erectum
has berries which are dull red or purple, ellipsoid to ovoid in shape,
and 1.5-2.5 cm long. The pedicels are 1-9 cm long and erect or divergent.
The sepals are horizontal and 2-4 cm long, 0.7-1.5 cm wide. The stamen
are 0.8-1.5 cm long, filaments 2.7 mm long, and the stigma is maroon or
rarely white. The whit variation of Trillium erectum is hard to distinguish
from Trillium cernuum. The two species can be seperated by the length
of the filaments or the maroon colored ovary of Trillium erectum (Radford,
Albert E. et al., 1968).
The holotype is located at the Harvard University Herbarium in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. The type locality of the specimen is rich woods.
Click here to view some forms of Trillium erectum.
of this species is throughout Ontario, Quebec, and Nova Scotia; south to
New England, Deleware, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and, in the mountains
to Georgia; west to Tennessee; north to Michigan.
Continental U.S.; Canada
|Eastern North America:
U.S. east of Mississippi; Ontario and eastern Canada
|Southeastern U.S.: AL AR DE DC FL GA KY MD NC SC TN VA WV||Yes||Duncan and Kartesz, 1981|
|Southern Appalachian States: AL GA KY MD NC SC TN VA WV||Yes||Duncan and Kartesz, 1981|
|Coastal Plain||No||Duncan and Kartesz, 1981|
|Piedmont||No||Duncan and Kartesz, 1981|
|Blue Ridge Mountains||Yes||Duncan and Kartesz, 1981|
|Great Smokey Mountains National Park||Yes||Duncan and Kartesz, 1981|
|Ridge and Valley||No||Duncan and Kartesz, 1981|
|Cumberland Plateau||Yes||Duncan and Kartesz, 1981|
|Georgia||Yes||Duncan and Kartesz, 1981|
|Clarke County, Georgia||Yes||UGA Herbarium Specimens|
Trillium erectum requires full shade, moderate moisture, and a woodland area.
It flowers in May and June. It can be used medicinally for ulcers, tumours, diarrhoea, dysentery, hemorrhages.
It has a
foul odor, similar to that of rotting meat, to attract carrion flies for
This species is an angiosperm, or flowering plant. The figure below describes the life cylcle of an angiosperm.
How to Encounter
can find Trillium erectum in rich woodlands, near a shady moist area around
April to June.
Campbell, Neil A. 1996. Biology. The Benjamin/Cummings Publishing Company, Inc. Menlo Park, California.
Duncan, Wilbur H. and J.T. Kartesz. 1981. Vascular Flora
of Georgia. University of Georgia Press. Athens, Georgia.
Jones, Samuel B., Jr and Coile, Nancy C. 1988. The Distribution
of the Vascular Flora of Georgia. Dept. of Botany,
University of Georgia. Athens, GA.
A.E., H.E. Ahles & C.R. Bell. 1968. Manual of the Vascular
Flora of the Caroolinas. University of North
Carolina Press. Chapel Hill, NC.
R. and Keil, David J. 1996. Vascular Plant Taxonomy.
Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company. Iowa,
Dubuque. ISBN 0-7872-2108-2.