Trillium flexipes
(Drooping Trillium)

Other pictures of this plant:

               Seedpod                                           Leaf                                            Stem                                        Seed                                          Habit

Facts About this Plant:

    Common Names: Drooping Trillium, Nodding Trillium, Nodding Wakerobin, Bent Trillium, White Wakerobin, Declining Trillium
    Lifespan: Perennial
    Zones: 4 - 7
    Type: Forb
    Bloom Time: April - May
    Status: Native

Trillium flexipes, or Drooping Trillium, is native to parts of the eastern and midwestern United States. It grows in rich, open woods. It blooms in early to mid spring, with white or light red-brown drooping flowers. Sometimes red and white flowers grow together in the same clump.

Although there are about 40 species in the United States, many of the species in this genus are easy to tell apart. All of the Trilliums are divided into two groups: stalked (pedunculate) and stalkless (sessile). In sessile Trilliums, the flowers rest right on the leaves without a stalk; in pedunculate Trilliums, there is a stalk, or peduncle, that holds the flower. Trillium flexipes is a stalked, or pedunculate, type. The stalk is often above the leaves, but it can be below it, also. This makes it similar to four other species: Trillium cernuum, Trillium erectum, Trillium rugelii, Trillium simile. They can be distinguished in the following way:

  • Trillium cernuum: leaves always under the leaves; has purple anthers, only grows in the northern states, in cool, moist soil
  • Trillium erectum: flowers usually deep red, but can be white; stands tall on a stalk above the leaves, and doesn't droop; has an unpleasant odor to the flowers; has a black ovary in the center
  • Trillium flexipes: has a drooping stem that can be above or below the leaves; flowers can be white or a brownish-red; anthers are yellow to cream colored
  • Trillium rugelii: only grows in the South; has purple anthers; flowers nod below the leaves
  • Trillium simile: has a black ovary in the center; usually has white flowers; has yellow or purple anthers; only grows in the South; has a pleasant odor to the flowers

Photos will be posted to aid in identification soon.

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