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The Plant Guide

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Red trillium

Trillium erectum

TRILL-ee-um ee-REK-tum

This trillium has upright or outward-facing blossoms of chocolate or reddish-purple, or occasionally white or yellow. At close range, it bears an unpleasant scent. It blooms in mid- to late spring, and grows from 14-20 inches tall and a foot wide.

Noteworthy CharacteristicsMost trilliums are native to woodlands and scrub of North America. They make elegant understory plants when grouped in a woodland or shady, naturalized area. Since they go dormant in the summer, plant trilliums with other shade-loving perennials to share their place until they reappear the following spring. 

CareProvide rich, moist, well-drained soil with a neutral to acidic pH. Plant in full to part shade and add an annual mulch of rich organic matter.

PropagationTrilliums propagate readily by division when plants are dormant in late summer or early fall.

ProblemsSmut, rust, fungal spots, slugs, snails.

  • Genus : Trillium
  • Plant Height : 1 to 3 feet
  • Zones : 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
  • Plant Width : 6 to 12 inches
  • Characteristics : Fragrant Flowers, Self Seeds
  • Uses : Ground Covers, Shade
  • Bloom Time : Late Spring, Spring
  • Maintenance : Low
  • Moisture : Medium Moisture
  • Growth Rate : Moderate
  • Light : Partial Shade to Full Shade
  • Plant Type : Perennials
  • Flower Color : Red, White, Yellow
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Spring Interest
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