drooping trillium

(Trillium flexipes)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

drooping trillium

NatureServe

N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Wetland
Indicator
Status

Great Plains

FAC - Facultative

Midwest

FAC - Facultative

Northcentral & Northeast

FACU - Facultative upland

Nativity

Native

Occurrence

 

Habitat

Wet to moderate moisture. Woods.

Flowering

April to May

     
Flower Color

Creamy white

     
Height

8 to 16

     

Identification

This is a 8 to 16 tall, erect, perennial forb that rises on 1 to several scapes from a single, short, stout rhizome.

There is no central stem. What appears to be the central stem is actually a slender, hairless scape.

There are no above-ground leaves. There is a whorl of 3 leaf-like bracts at the top of the scape. The bracts are broad, diamond-shaped or egg-shaped to almost circular, 2¾ to 10 long, 2¾ to 10 wide, and stalkless. They taper gradually to a narrow point at the base, and taper gradually to a sharp point at the tip with concave sides along the tip. They are medium green and do not have red or maroon tones.

The inflorescence is a solitary flower hanging on a stalk above or below the bracts. The flower stalk (pedicel) is 1½ to 4¾ long, straight, and stiff. It declines to about 90° or more.

The flowers are about 1½ wide. There are 3 sepals, 3 petals, and 6 stamens. The sepals are green, lance-shaped to egg-shaped, and as long or slightly shorter than the petals. The petals are thick-textured, creamy white, not two-colored, ¾ to 2 long, and to 19 16 wide. They are lance-shaped or broadly egg-shaped and come to a point at the tip with straight sides along the tip. They are usually flat or bent backward in the upper half. However, this character is an unreliable field mark, as photos on this page indicate. The veins on the upper side of the petals are conspicuous, appearing engraved. The stamens are to long. The filaments are white, thin, and less than ½ the length of the anthers. The anthers are creamy white or yellow and 316 to 11 16 long There is no floral scent.

The fruit is a rosy-red to purplish, fleshy, juicy berry. It is ½ to 1 in diameter, egg-shaped, pyramidal at the top, strongly angled, and contains many seeds.

 
Similar
Species

Nodding trillium (Trillium cernuum) pedicel is shorter, no more than 1¼ long, and is curved. The petals are thin-textured, not thick, and are not conspicuously veined on the upper surface. The sides of the petal along the tip are convex, not straight. The anthers are shorter, 1 16 to ¼ long, and are pinkish-or grayish-lavender, not creamy white or yellow. The filaments are about as long as the anthers.


Distribution Distribution Map   Sources: 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 28.

Comments

 


Taxonomy

Family:

Melanthiaceae (trillium)

 

Tribe:

Parideae

 
Synonyms

Trillium declinatum

Trillium erectum var. blandum

Trillium erectum var. declinatum

Trillium gleasonii

 
Common
Names

bent trillium

declined trillium

drooping trillium

nodding wakerobin

nodding wake-robin


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Bract

Modified leaf at the base of a flower stalk or flower cluster.

 

Pedicel

In plants: the stalk of a single flower in a cluster of flowers. In Hymenoptera and Araneae: the narrow stalk connecting the thorax to the abdomen.

 

Rhizome

A horizontal, usually underground stem. It serves as a reproductive structure, producing roots below and shoots above at the nodes.

 

Scape

An erect, leafless stalk growing from the rootstock and supporting a flower or a flower cluster.

 

Sepal

An outer floral leaf, usually green but sometimes colored, at the base of a flower.

       

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