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Great White Trillium

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Great White Trillium - Trillium grandiflorum Hardy Planting Zones- 3-8 Sun or Shade – Shade Mature Height - 12-18" Mature Width- 18" Bloom Season – Spring to midsummer Gardener Status- Beginner

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Trillium Grandiflorum - Great White Trillium

The Great White Trillium, or as it is known to botanists, the Trillium grandiflorum, is a flowering plant native to the North American continent. In the wild, the Great White Trillium commonly grows in upland forests and deciduous woodlands throughout the Appalachian region, reaching from northern Georgia to the southern borders of Quebec. The perennial has been found as far west as Minnesota, with different colonies on Vancouver Island, in British Columbia, as well as Nova Scotia and Iowa. The Great White gets its name from its famed, three-petaled flower. The blooms appear throughout late spring and early summer, framed almost entirely by three bracts, leaf-like and green. The white petals can reach a length of nearly 3 inches, which is a considerably larger blossom than any of its trillium cousins produce. The placement of the leaves, atop the stem, appears funnel-like, housing three maroon-striped sepals. The flower sits several centimeters above its leaf-life wreath, often compared to a crown on a pedestal. As midsummer approaches the Great White Trillium transforms into a luminous shade of pink before giving way to its green, round fruits. In Virginia's the Blue Ridge Mountains, a stem of the Appalachians, a rare form of the Great White Trillium is never white at all, maintaining a pink tint from the time it first buds. This trillium grows slowly, in well-drained, semi-acidic soils. The plant's fruits release up to 16 seeds each summer that contain a coating of elaiosome. This oily product, rich in lipids and acids, attracts ants, and the occasional yellow jacket, who transport the seeds home, later discarding them. This process of transport, which enables the trillium to thrive, is known as myrmecochory. Due to the size of the Great White's flower, it is one of the more common trilliums used in landscaping and gardening. A seedling usually takes 4 to 5 years to reach a flowering age, but the beautiful flower repays this patience in kind.




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Great White Trillium, like others in its family of flowering plants, is a gorgeous perennial characterized with its three overlapping petals. Its waxy flower is a pale, snow white and blooms atop a singular stalk and emerges from a housing of three bright green leaves. Great White Trillium, as a rootstock, will slowly but persistently form a spreading colony. Its primary enemy is dear which graze on its low-lying foliage. A gorgeous addition to any wildflower garden, it is considered endangered in Maine and verges on extinction in New York.