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Louisiana Trillium Trillium ludovicianum

Other Common Name(s):

Description

Louisiana wakerobin is a member of the Melanthiaceae family, also called the bunchflower family. They are native to Louisiana and Mississippi where they are found growing at between one hundred sixty and sixteen hundred foot altitudes in low flatwoods, floodplains along streams, steep ravine slopes that lead to a floodplain and mixed pine-beech woods. The genus name, Trillium, is from the Latin for three, tres. And this well describes the plant, everything is in three or a multiple of three. There are three bracts, three leaves, three sepals, three petals. The attractive bronzy green leaves are held well above the ground and attractively mottled in a lighter green sometimes with an even lighter line dividing the leaf in two. The dark purplish brown petals are held upright in the center of the whorl of leaves. They smell a little like carrion so don't get too close. The fleshy fruit is a purplish six angled ovoid. This plant will do well at the edge of the woods near a stream. It doesn't like too much sun.

Trilliums slowly spread by underground rhizomes and are attractive planted in groups under trees in humus-rich moist well-drained soils in part to full sun.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  No serious problems.  Slugs and snails are occasional pests and leaf spot, rust and smut are occasional disease problems. It does not transplant well.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#purple flowers#red flowers#moths#shade garden#spring flowers#dappled shade#stream banks#groundcover#pollinator plant#naturalized area#small group plantings#ants#woodland garden#mottled leaves
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#purple flowers#red flowers#moths#shade garden#spring flowers#dappled shade#stream banks#groundcover#pollinator plant#naturalized area#small group plantings#ants#woodland garden#mottled leaves
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Trillium
    Species:
    ludovicianum
    Family:
    Melanthiaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    SE USA
    Distribution:
    AL, LA, MS
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 1 ft. 3 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Perennial
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Capsule
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    This plant's fruit is a fleshy, dark purple colored, 6 angled ovoid capsule less than an inch long. It has little or no odor. The seeds are dispersed by ants in the summer.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Green
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Solitary
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Cup
    Star
    Flower Petals:
    2-3 rays/petals
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    The flower of this plant has no stem (sessile). It sits at the point where the leaves emerge from the scape (the correct botanical name for what looks like a stem connecting the leaves to the root). There is a whorl of three green sepals, then another whorl of the three purplish brown petals which are one and a quarter to two inches long and tend to curve over the center of the flower. It can smell like carrion. Blooms March to April
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Variegated
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Whorled
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Undulate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The leaves that are actually bracts, are sessile (stemless) and strongly mottled in dark and bronzy green, often with a central light strip and may fade with age. They are lanceolate-ovate, between two and four inches long and one to two inches wide, not glossy with margins entire to wavy. Appear in threes in a whorled pattern.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Round
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    In the case of this plant the stem is really a scape. The round scape rises between five and a half to ten inches from the soil. It is green to reddish.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Riparian
    Slope/Bank
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Shade Garden
    Design Feature:
    Mass Planting
    Small groups
    Attracts:
    Moths
    Pollinators