snow trillium

(Trillium nivale)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not listed

snow trillium

NatureServe

N4 - Apparently Secure

S3 - Vulnerable

Minnesota

Special Concern

Nativity

Native

Occurrence

Uncommon

Habitat

Moist to moderate moisture. Woods. Filtered sunlight. Limey soils.

Flowering

Late March to April

     
Flower Color

White

     
Height

3 to 6

     
 
Identification

This is a low, erect perennial that rises from a short, stout, up to thick rhizome. It often forms colonies where conditions are favorable. Individual plants may live 8 years or more.

A single leafless stalk (scape) rises from the ground 1 to 2. By the time the flower is fully open the scape is 1¼ to 3 tall. It is light green or reddish-brown, slender, and hairless.

There are no true leaves. At the top of the scape is a single flower above a whorl of 3 bracts.

The bracts are attached to the scape by short but distinct leaf stalks. They are 1 to 2 long, egg-shaped to oval, rounded at the base, and usually rounded, not pointed, at the tip. They are bluish-green or dark green, hairless, and untoothed. They have 3 prominent, parallel veins.

The inflorescence is a single flower on a ½ to 1 long, erect or nearly erect, flower stalk at the end of the scape.

The flowers are 1 to 2 wide. They consist of 3 white petals and 3 green sepals, and 6 yellow stamens, and a 3-lobed ovary and style. The petals are longer than the sepals. The sepals are to 1¼ long, narrow, lance-shaped, and bent backward. The petals are to 1 long, white and oval to egg-shaped, with slightly wavy margins. The ovary is not winged.

The fruit is a ¼ to ½, round to egg-shaped, greenish-white, berry.

 
Similar
Species

This plant is the smallest Trillium and the first to bloom.

Large-flowered trillium (Trillium grandiflorum) is a much larger plant, 8 to 16 tall at maturity. The leaves are wider and are pointed at the tip.

Nodding trillium (Trillium cernuum var. macranthum) is a much larger plant, 8 to 16 tall at maturity. The leaves are wider and are pointed at the tip. The petals are lance-shaped and curve backward at the tip.

Drooping trillium (Trillium flexipes) is a much larger plant, 8 to 16 tall at maturity. The leaves are wider and are pointed at the tip. The petals are lance-shaped and curve backward at the tip.

 
Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 28.

Most sources show this species restricted to the southern third of the state except for the metro area and an isolated occurrence in Douglas County. BONAP2 shows this species distributed throughout the state. The map at left does not include the BONAP data.

 
Comments

This is the first wildflower to bloom in the spring in Minnesota forests.

 
Taxonomy

Family:

Melanthiaceae (trillium)

 

Tribe:

Parideae

 
Synonyms

 

 
Common
Names

snow trillium

dwarf white trillium

dwarf white wakerobin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Bract

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

 

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.

       
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Colony

  snow trillium   snow trillium
       

Plant

  snow trillium   snow trillium
       

Flower

  snow trillium   snow trillium
       
       

 

Camera

     
Slideshows
   
  Trillium nivale (Snow Trillium)
Allen Chartier
 
  Trillium nivale (Snow Trillium)  

 

slideshow

       
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Other Videos
 
  Winter Trillium
Mike's Mushrooms
 
   
 
About

Published on Mar 29, 2016

On a Nature walk in March finding Snow Trillium

   
       

 

Camcorder

         
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Ron Geppert
4/10/2011

FYI

Today, Sunday April 10, 2011, I saw a thriving and generous population of both the Snow Trillium and Round Lobed Hepatica along the Blue Earth County Red Jacket Bike Trail just north of the Le Sueur River. I noticed the habitat map on your website <http://minnesotaseasons.com/Plants/round-lobed_hepatica.html>  did not show Blue Earth County as a location for the Hepatica.

Ron Geppert


     
     
 
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