Trillium grandiflorum indiana dunes.JPG

Family:     Melanthiaceae

Duration:  Perennial

Height:     20 - 40 cm (0.5-1.25 ft)

Blooming: April-May


Great White Trillium

Trillium grandiflorum  (Michx.) Salisb.

Flowers: large, single headed flower erect above the leaves.  It has six tepals on an upright flower stalk. The three white petals can turn pink with age.

Leaves: what appears to be leaves are actually bracts.  Trillium do not have true, above-ground leaves. Yet, their job is the same as leaves in that they photosynthesize.  The bracts are sessile to subsessile and can be up to 20 cm (8 in) long and 15 cm (6 in) wide. 

Sun: Part sun to full shade

Ideal Conditions: moist woodland.

Trillium grandiflorum indiana dunes.JPG
Trillium grandiflorum indiana dunes.JPG

CommentsThe plant should not be picked. It is an important and iconic spring ephemeral in Northwest Indiana. Great white trillium seeds are spread by ants.  

Etymology: The genus, Trillium, comes from the Greek word trilix meaning "triple" referring to the consistent threes on the plant's parts. The epithet, grandiflorum, means "grand or large flower".   

all photos by Nathanael Pilla

Trillium grandiflorum indiana dunes.JPG
Species Present and Native