drooping trillium

(Trillium flexipes)

Conservation Status
drooping trillium
 
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
Wetland Indicator Status
     
  Great Plains

FAC - Facultative

     
  Midwest

FAC - Facultative

     
  Northcentral & Northeast

FACU - Facultative upland

     
           
 
Description
 
 

Drooping trillium 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.

 
     
 

Height

 
 

8 to 16

 
     
 

Flower Color

 
 

Creamy white

 
     
 

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.  
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Wet to moderate moisture. Woods.

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Flowering

 
  April to May  
     
 
Use
 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 28.

 
  2/1/2014      
         
 

Nativity

 
 

Native

 
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

 

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Liliopsida (monocots)  
 

Order

Liliales (lilies, supplejacks, and allies)  
 

Family

Melanthiaceae (bunchflowers)  
  Tribe Parideae  
 

Genus

Trillium (Trillium)  
       
 

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, flower cluster, or inflorescence.

 

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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