White trillium has a stalk that is actually an extension of the rhizome. The stalk can grow up to 18 inches tall. It will develop a whorl of leaves. The leaves are prominently veined, ovate-shaped and green. The leaves can be up to 6 inches long. The stalk will extend from the center of the leaves to produce a single flower two to three inches above the bracts. The flowers are usually white and turn pink as they age, although the flower color can vary. The flower normally has three, ovate petals with three small green sepals.


Ants are responsible for dispersing trillium seeds. They collect the seeds, bring them to their underground burrows, eat the flesh attached to the seed and then discard the seeds. White tailed deer eat the flowers and foliage of trilliums. The overpopulation of white tailed deer might be negatively impacting the population of trillium.

Reproduction and Life Cycle

The flowers bloom in spring from April to May. After the plant flowers, it will produce a pale green, berry-like seed capsule. The entire plant will die to the ground by mid-summer. The plants are slow growing and it can take up to seven years for a plant to flower.

Did You Know?

  • The scientific name, trillium grandiflorum comes from the Latin translations of “tri” for the three parts and “grandiflorum” for the large, showy flowers.
  • There are 38 species of trilliums in the U.S. out of the 43 species known worldwide.
  • 43 species of trillium have been identified. 38 of these species can be found in the U.S.

Sources and Additional Information