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Giant trillium facts for kids

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Giant trillium
Conservation status

Secure (NatureServe)
Scientific classification

Trillium chloropetalum, also known as giant trillium, giant wakerobin, or common trillium, is a species of flowering plant in the family Melanthiaceae. It is found in the coast ranges of California and the Sierra Nevada foothills, from Siskiyou County to Santa Barbara and Madera Counties.


As of February 2021, Kew's Plants of the World Online (POWO) accepts two infraspecific names:

  • Trillium chloropetalum var. chloropetalum
  • Trillium chloropetalum var. giganteum (Hook. & Arn.) Munz

The petals of T. chloropetalum var. chloropetalum always show yellow pigments, which are often masked with purple or other pigments. In contrast, the petals of T. chloropetalum var. giganteum lack yellow pigments. Thus the varieties are only weakly differentiated and should probably be dropped.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, a white-petaled form of T. chloropetalum var. giganteum is often confused with T. albidum, which also has white petals. The former is distinguished by the purple pigment in its anther connective tissue, a character lacking in T. albidum.


Trillium chloropetalum is a perennial herbaceous plant that blooms from late February to early or mid April. The petal color is variable, from dark red to white. Like other Trillium species the leaves and flowers are grouped in threes. It is clump-forming and prefers a shady woodland habitat.


The variety Trillium chloropetalum var. giganteum, with its deep maroon flower petals, gained the Award of Garden Merit (AGM) from the Royal Horticultural Society in 1993.

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