Painted Trillium

Trillium undulatum

Oh, where do I start with this uncommon wildflower? The coppery-green leaves?  The undulating tips of the dainty white petals? The glamorous scarlet blaze at the flower’s center? Maybe I should just say, “This little trillium is a real showstopper!”

Like all the trillium species, the leaves, petals, and sepals of painted trillium are arranged in threes. And like all the other wakerobins, the single flowers of painted trillium hang from a pedicel, or flower stalk. The flower is white with a deep red center that radiates outward.

Painted trillium is shorter than the other wakerobins. It tops out at about 1.5 ft. tall.  The plant prefers sites with acid soils. The photos below were taken in the forest at fairly high elevations in the mountains of southwest Virginia.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Wow! That is one beautiful plant – and I had never heard of it either. I would love to share your photo on the Virginia Native Plant Society’s Facebook page, with or without photo credit, if you would consider it. I have really enjoyed your blog!

    1. gloria says:

      Hi Suzanne,
      Thanks so much for getting in touch. By all means, share my blog with whomever you’d like… but please know that I’m not a botanist and there are probably more than a few errors in my posts. I’m keeping this blog as a kind of journal while I’m teaching myself the plants in my area. After moving to Virginia, I heard of the astounding diversity of plant and animal life in the Appalachians. Although I had studied Biology in college, I never took a course in flower plants so I was always in the dark about what I was seeing in the woods. Last spring I decided this was a great time and place to devote some serious time to learning my plants. So that’s mybackstory.

      By the way, today I found yellow crested orchids in bloom so I will make time to go back and photograph them this week. I’ve never seen them before! They are really pretty and exotic-looking flowers!

      Thanks again and all the best! Gloria

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