Purple Trillium, Bloody Butcher, Purple Wake Robin
- To +30cm tall, erect, glabrous, herbaceous, greenish above, purplish near base, simple, from short rhizomes.
- In a single whorl of 3(rarely 4) at the apex of the stem, with a short but distinct petiole. Petiole to 1cm long, glabrous. Blade elliptic-ovate, glabrous, entire, acute, mottled above, light green below, to +12cm long.
- Single terminal sessile flower.
- Petals 3, erect and converging over the stamens, maroon (rarely yellowish), glabrous, tapering to a claw at base, acute, 2.7-3cm long, 9-10mm broad. Stamens 6, adnate at base of petals and sepals, erect, converging over the pistil. Filaments maroon, 3mm long, glabrous. Anthers dark purple, 7-8mm long, falcate. Ovary superior, 3-sided but each side parted so appearing 6-angled, 4mm long(tall), glabrous, green, 3-locular. Styles 3, purple, slightly spreading, 3.5mm long. Placentation axile. Seeds (ovules) many. Sepals 3, recurved, lanceolate, glabrous, entire, 2-3cm long, 7-10mm broad, green.
is common in the most southern and eastern counties of Missouri but is infrequent elsewhere in the state. The plants prefer shaded areas and moist soils. A similar species,
has leaves which are sessile and sepals which are spreading to erect at anthesis.
is much more common in Missouri.
Photographs taken at Big Spring State Park, Carter County, MO., 4-15-01, and at Prairie Fork Conservation Area, Callaway County, MO., 4-22-04.
L. C. Beck, Amer. J. Sci. Arts. 11: 178. 1826.
Prairie trillium, toadshade, bloody noses
Rhizomes horizontal, white, slender, elongated, brittle. Scapes typically 1(—3), round in cross section, 1.5—4.8 dm, slender to robust, glabrous. Bracts held well above ground, strongly petiolate; blade at first strongly mottled in darker green or bronze, mottling fading with seasonal expansion after anthesis, rarely all green, ovate, elliptic, or lanceolate, 6—18 × 2.5—6.5 cm, not glossy, apex acuminate; petiole ca. 1/5 bract length. Flower erect, fragrance not reported; sepals strongly recurved basally and held against scape by turgor pressure, green, sometimes purple-streaked, ovate-lanceolate, 18—35 × 6—18 mm, margins entire, apex acute; petals long-lasting, erect, ± connivent, ± concealing stamens and ovary, dark maroon purple to clear yellow, occasionally 2-colored with purple and yellow, not spirally twisted, lanceolate to ovate, 1.8—4.8 × 0.9—2 cm, thick-textured, base attenuate to weakly clawed, margins entire, apex acute; stamens incurved, 10—15 mm; filaments erect, dark purple, 4—6 mm, ± slender; anthers strongly incurved above filaments, dark purple, 5—16 mm, ± thick, dehiscence introrse; connectives strongly incurved inward, dark purple, projecting about 1 mm beyond anther sacs; ovary greenish with ± purple stains distally, transversely rhombic to angular-ovate, somewhat 6-angled or -winged, 7—10 mm, ± equaling filament height; stigmas erect, divergent-recurved, distinct, ± linear, 4—6 mm, slightly thickened basally. Fruits green to white- and purple-streaked, odorless, rhomboid-ovoid, 6-angled, almost winged, ca. 1 cm diam., pulpy. 2n = 10.
Flowering spring (late Mar--late May). Rich clayey floodplain soils, plants often temporarily inundated while in flower; rich moist woods and bluffs, limestone-derived soils; 100--200 m; Ala., Ark., Ill., Ind., Iowa, Ky., La., Mich., Miss., Mo., Ohio, Tenn., Tex., Wis.
Trillium recurvatum has several named color forms, most notably forma shayi E. J. Palmer & Steyermark with clear yellow petals, and one foliose anomaly (possibly caused by mycoplasma).
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