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Woodland Flowers in Bloom

University of Minnesota Extension, Stearns County News
May 25, 2017        
Source:  Beth Berlin, Extension Educator-Horticulture
University of Minnesota Extension
Stearns, Benton, & Morrison Counties

Woodland Flowers in Bloom
By Beth Berlin, University of Minnesota Extension

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (05/17/17) — Late Mid-May to June brings a hidden beauty to many woodlands, the large flowered trillium (Trillium grandiflorum). This native perennial wildflower brings a sense of simplicity and strong beauty to the understory of Minnesota woodlands as the tree canopies are just starting to fill in. The large flowered trillium is also called the great white trillium, snow trillium, or the white wakerobin. 

The large flowered trillium is in the Melanthiaceae, or Trillium family.  It is identified by its large white three petal flower that reach two to three-inches across. The brilliant white petals may take a pink hue as they age.   Each plant only has one flower on each and will reach 10-18 inches in height.  The flower has bright yellow center with groups of stamen, which are the male portion of the reproductive flower.

Large flowered trillium can be found in rich, moist, part shade to shade woodlands or floodplains. Typically they prefer rich sandy loam soils that remain consistently moist, however they can be found in other types of soils. This native plant will bloom in May through June in Minnesota.  Minnesota is on the western edge of the large flowered trillium’s native range in the United States.  The large flowered trillium is more common in east-central Minnesota, but will stretch throughout other parts as well.

Like all woodland wildflowers it is best and sometimes required by law to observe and enjoy their beauty, but do not cut or transplant. Even in areas where there seems be an ample supply, disturbing native plant cultures can have devastating effects. The large flowered trillium is listed on the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ special concern list, so only purchase plants for your own property from a reputable nursery supplier.

Photo Credit: Large Flowered Trillium. Beth Berlin, University of Minnesota Extension.


Beth Berlin
Extension Educator, Horticulture
(320) 255-6169
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