When does this bloom?
Where does this bloom?
3-7, 64-85, 154.5 PA, 168-169, 175, 330-340, 370-375
Trillium grandiflorum is a perennial that grows from a short rhizome and produces a single, showy white flower atop a whorl of three “leaves”. These “leaves” are technically bracts as the “stem” is in fact a scape, a peduncle acting as a stem, and lacks leaves by definition. These leaf-like bracts are ovate (i.e egg-shaped) in outline with pointed tips. They lack petioles (or have extremely short ones) and measure 12-20 cm long by 8-15 cm wide (5-8 in long by 3-6 in width), with very prominently engraved venation. Both the bracts and the scape are a dark green color and they persist into the autumn. Both the leafy bracts and the petals have somewhat undulate margins, the bracts often much more strongly so. Individuals grow to between about 15 and 30 centimeters tall (6-12 inches). A single rootstock will often form clonal colonies, which can become very large and dense.
The erect, odorless flowers are relatively large, especially compared to other species of Trillium, with 4 to 7 cm (1.5 to 2.7 in) long petals, depending on age and vigor. The petals are shaped much like the leaves and curve outward. They have a visible venation, though this is nowhere near as marked as on the leaves. Their overlapping bases and curve give the flower a distinctive funnel shape. Between the veined petals, three acuminate (ending with a long point) sepals are visible; they are usually a paler shade of green than the leaves, and are sometimes streaked with maroon. Flowers are perched on a pedicel (i.e. flower stalk) raising them above the “leaf” whorl, and grow pinker as they age.
Flowers have six stamens in two whorls of three, which persist after fruiting. The styles are white and very short compared to the 9-27 mm (0.5-1 in) anthers, which are pale yellow but becomes a brighter shade when liberating pollen due to the latter’s color. The ovary is six-sided with 3 greenish-white stigmas that are at first weakly attached, but fuse higher up. The fruit is a green, mealy and moist orb, and is vaguely six-sided like the ovary.
As a particularly conspicuous forest flower, Trillium grandiflorum was designated the provincial emblem of Ontario in 1937 (Flora Emblem Act), and as the state wild flower of Ohio in 1987. As the symbol of Ontario, a stylized trillium flower features prominently on the official flag of the province’s French-speaking community. It is also frequently used by the Canadian Heraldic Authority to represent Ontario in grants of arms. Although a network of laws make picking wildflowers in general illegal in the province more often than not, it is not, unlike widely believed, specifically illegal (or necessarily harmful) to pick the species in Ontario.
Trillium grandiflorum is one of the most popular trilliums in cultivation, primarily because of the size of its flowers and its relative ease of cultivation. Although not particularly demanding, its cultivation is a slow and relatively uncertain process, due to relatively slow growth, wide variations in growth speed and sometimes capricious germination rates. As a result, the vast majority of plants and rhizomes in commerce are collected in the wild, and such heavy collecting, combined with other pressures such as habitat destruction and grazing, may effectively endanger the plants in some areas. This also creates tensions between Trillium enthusiasts and conservation proponents. Transplantation (as with almost all non-weedy wild plants) is a delicate process, and in many cases results in the death of the plant. In cultivation, Trillium grandiflorum may flower in as little as 4 to 5 years after germination (compared to the usual 7 to 10 in the wild), but these cases appear to be exceptions rather than the rule.