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Least Trillium Trillium pusillum

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

Dwarf Wakerobin is the smallest trillium with several varieties in the southeastern and central United States. In NC three varieties, v. ozarkanum, v. viorginianum and v. pusillum are considered endangered species and var. pusillum is Federally Endangered.

The flowers start off white aging to pale pink or lavender and occur in the spring. These plants prefer moist humus-rich acidic soils in part to full shade. Left undisturbed they will spread to eventually form colonies by rhizomes.

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:
  • Var. ozarkanum
    Dry to mesic slopes under oaks
  • var. pusillum
    Savannas and swamp forests in lower coastal plain.
  • var. texanum
    Found in TX to LA
  • var. virginianum
    Slightly smaller blooms and sessile or subsessile
Var. ozarkanum, var. pusillum, var. texanum, var. virginianum
Tags:
#fragrant#white#showy flowers#fragrant flowers#perennial#white flowers#pink flowers#partial sun#moths#shade tolerant#native perennial#shade garden#spring flowers#slopes#berries#stream banks#small mammals#moist soil#food source#herbaceous#well-drained soil#perennial flowers#white berries#small and large mammals#swamps#herbaceous perennial#native garden#small flowers#mountains#rich soil#small plant#forests#colonies#summer interest#cutting garden#spring interest#acidic soils tolerant#pollinator plant#native wildflower#wildflower garden#naturalized area#late spring flowers#early spring flowers#larval host plant#fruits summer#food source summer#forb#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#Coastal FACW#Piedmont Mountains FACW#white fruits#small group plantings#fruits#native#dry soils tolerant#mammals#food source soft mast fruit#moth larvae#food source mid-summer#partial shade tolerant#HS302#pink#shade flowers#bee friendly#audubon#heavy shade tolerant#woodland garden#coastal plant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • Var. ozarkanum
    Dry to mesic slopes under oaks
  • var. pusillum
    Savannas and swamp forests in lower coastal plain.
  • var. texanum
    Found in TX to LA
  • var. virginianum
    Slightly smaller blooms and sessile or subsessile
Var. ozarkanum, var. pusillum, var. texanum, var. virginianum
Tags:
#fragrant#white#showy flowers#fragrant flowers#perennial#white flowers#pink flowers#partial sun#moths#shade tolerant#native perennial#shade garden#spring flowers#slopes#berries#stream banks#small mammals#moist soil#food source#herbaceous#well-drained soil#perennial flowers#white berries#small and large mammals#swamps#herbaceous perennial#native garden#small flowers#mountains#rich soil#small plant#forests#colonies#summer interest#cutting garden#spring interest#acidic soils tolerant#pollinator plant#native wildflower#wildflower garden#naturalized area#late spring flowers#early spring flowers#larval host plant#fruits summer#food source summer#forb#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#Coastal FACW#Piedmont Mountains FACW#white fruits#small group plantings#fruits#native#dry soils tolerant#mammals#food source soft mast fruit#moth larvae#food source mid-summer#partial shade tolerant#HS302#pink#shade flowers#bee friendly#audubon#heavy shade tolerant#woodland garden#coastal plant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Trillium
    Species:
    pusillum
    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 and south-central United States
    Distribution:
    AL , AR , GA , KY , MD , MO , MS , NC , OK , SC , TN , VA , WV
    Wildlife Value:
    Bees and other pollinating insects enjoy the nectar from the flowers. Moths use this plant as a larval host. Small mammals enjoy the berries as a food source.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Attracts Pollinators
    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. 3 in. - 1 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 6 in. - 1 ft. 8 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:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    White
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Capsule
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    6-parted berry-like capsule with seeds that are dispersed by ants. In North Carolina, the white fruits are available from June to July.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Solitary
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Petals:
    2-3 rays/petals
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Up to 1 in. long 3 wavy petaled flowers on a short to long-stalk. In North Carolina, flowers are available from March to May. White aging to pinkish in color with a white ovary and six stamens tipped with lavender or yellow anthers
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Whorled
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Oblong
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Whorl of three small (usually less than 3 in.), narrow, oblong lance-shaped leaves that are actually bracts.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Round
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    Unbranched green to dark red stems
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    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