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Yellow Trillium Trillium luteum

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
TRIL-ee-um LOO-tee-um
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Yellow Trillium is a perennial wildflower native to the Great Smoky Mountains and is found in the westernmost counties of North Carolina. In nature, it can be found in moist soils especially over calcareous rocks in woodland settings or along streams. Left undisturbed this plant will form colonies over time.

The upright stemless 3-petaled flowers have a lemony scent and appear in spring above the showy mottled bracts. Plant in a woodland setting in humus-rich moist well-drained soil in part to full shade. They usually die down by mid-summer.

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:
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Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#fragrant#showy flowers#poisonous#fragrant flowers#edible plant#perennial#wildlife plant#showy#moths#yellow flowers#native perennial#shade garden#colorful#spring flowers#accent plant#berries#dappled shade#small mammals#moist soil#food source#herbaceous#NC native#well-drained soil#perennial flowers#rich soils#white berries#neutral ph#small and large mammals#clumps#herbaceous perennial#native garden#small flowers#attractive leaves#mountains#whorled#small plant#forests#colonies#green fruits#summer interest#cutting garden#spring interest#pollinator plant#native wildflower#wildflower garden#clumping#naturalized area#late spring flowers#early spring flowers#larval host plant#fruits summer#mid-spring flowers#fruits spring#forb#NC Native Pollinator Plant#food source spring#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#white fruits#small group plantings#fruits#food source soft mast fruit#moth larvae#food source mid-summer#partial shade tolerant#HS302#food source flowers#bee friendly#audubon#heavy shade tolerant#woodland garden#partial sun tolerant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Trillium
    Species:
    luteum
    Family:
    Melanthiaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Trilliums have been used in herbal medicine
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Southeastern United States
    Distribution:
    NC, GA, TN
    Wildlife Value:
    Bees and other pollinators enjoy the nectar from the flowers. Moths use this plant as a larval host. Small mammals enjoy the berries as a food source. Deer will browse the plant.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Attracts Pollinators
    Colorful
    Fragrance
    Wildlife Food Source
    Wildlife Larval Host
    Edibility:
    EDIBLE PARTS: Young, unfolding leaves HARVEST TIME: Only collect leaves from areas you know have NOT been treated with pesticides. SAFE HANDLING PROCEDURES: Wash leaves in warm water to remove dirt and debris. Do not use dish detergent or any type of sanitizer. These products can leave a residue. Cook in boiling, salted water for ten minutes and serve like greens. SOURCE: Crowhurst, A. 1972. The Weed Cookbook. Lancer Books, Inc. New York, 190 pp.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 8 in. - 1 ft. 6 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 1 ft. 6 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Poisonous
    Wildflower
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    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 pH:
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Green
    White
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Capsule
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Green to greenish-white, sometimes with purple streaks berry-like capsules that are dispersed by ants. In North Carolina, fruits are available from May to June.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Solitary
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Cup
    Flower Petals:
    2-3 rays/petals
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Three 2-inch long yellow upright slightly twisted petals and 3 sepals. Flowers are sessile (stemless) and have a lemony fragrance. In North Carolina, flowers are available from March to April.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Whorled
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    A whorl of three elliptical leaves that are actually bracts are up to 2.5- 6 inches long by 2.5- 4 inches wide and mottled greens to gray-green.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Round
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    Green to reddish stems grow from the rhizomes
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Shade Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Mass Planting
    Small groups
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Moths
    Pollinators
    Small Mammals
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Unknown
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Toxicity unknown, but caution because of its relationship with known toxic plants.
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Fruits
    Roots