Trillium grandiflorum, Large-flowered or Great White Trillium

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic

A simple, graceful perennial, the Great White Trillium is one of the most familiar and beloved of the spring woodland wildflowers.  Its showy, long-lasting white flower is one of the largest among the trilliums, measuring 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 inches. The Virginia Native Plant Society named Great White Trillium Wildflower of the Year in 1996.

Print Version: Trillium grandiflorum, Large-flowered or Great White Trillium
Trillium grandiflorum, Large-flowered or Great White Trillium, Perennial Height: 1⁄2–11⁄2 feet Spread: 3⁄4–1 foot Bloom Color: White turning light pink with age Characteristics Spring ephemeral, herbaceous perennial Sturdy, erect, unbranched stems, each with whorl of three ovate, glossy, medium green leaves Single, three-petaled, three-sepaled flower emerges from the leaf whorl from April to June Six-angled capsule holds seeds spread by ants Attributes Foliage dies to ground in summer, especially in dry soil (do not remove foliage until spent) Averse to transplantation; no serious pests–but slugs can be a nuisance–or diseases; deer seldom to rarely severely damage but are more likely to notice large-flowered over smaller trilliums Spreads–if undisturbed–very slowly by rhizomes to form dense colonies; takes 3 to 5 years to mature from seed to flower (do not pick flowers) Attracts insects rarely; in large colonies, leaves provide cover for small mammals Growing and Maintenance Tips Soil Requirements: Deep, rich, well-drained Light Requirements: Partial Shade, Shade Water Requirements: Moist Prefers shade of deciduous or mixed-species forest Needs regular watering; apply leaf mulch in fall Use in shady borders or woodland gardens w/ ferns Hardiness: USDA Zones 4-8 Excellent Replacement for Muscari - Grape hyacinth *In the Mid-Atlantic Region, it is native to DC, to five counties in MD, and to the mostly western counties of PA. In VA, it is common in the mountains and rare in the inner Piedmont. It is not native to NoVA although it may grow where it has escaped cutivation as it does in DE where it is adventive in the rich Brandywine Valley.
Learn more about other Mid-Atlantic plants: Tried and True Plant Fact Sheets