snow trillium

(Trillium nivale)

Conservation Status
snow trillium
  IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern

     
  NatureServe

N4 - Apparently Secure

S3 - Vulnerable

     
  Minnesota

Special Concern

     
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Snow trillium 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.

 
     
 

Height

 
 

3 to 6

 
     
 

Flower Color

 
 

White

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
 

Snow trillium is the smallest Trillium.

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.

 
     
 
Habitat
 
 

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

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Flowering

 
 

Late March to April

Snow trillium is the first wildflower to bloom in the spring in Minnesota forests.

 
     
 
Use
 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

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

BONAP shows snow trillium distributed throughout the state. All other sources show it restricted to the southern third of the state except for the metro area and an isolated occurrence in Douglas County. The map at left does not include the BONAP data.

 
  4/24/2021      
         
 

Nativity

 
 

Native

 
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Uncommon

 
         
 
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

 
 

 

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

snow trillium

dwarf white trillium

dwarf white wakerobin

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Bract

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

 

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.

       
Visitor Photos
   

Share your photo of this plant.

This button not working for you?
Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Attach one or more photos and, if you like, a caption.

       
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
   

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

       
Visitor Videos
       

Share your video of this plant.

This button not working for you?
Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Attach one or more videos or YouTube links and, if you like, a caption.

       
       
Other Videos
 
  Winter Trillium
Mike's Mushrooms
 
   
 
About

Published on Mar 29, 2016

On a Nature walk in March finding Snow Trillium

   
       

 

Camcorder

         
Visitor Sightings
   

Report a sighting of this plant.

This button not working for you?
Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Be sure to include a location.

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


     
     
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings
         

 

 

Binoculars


Last Updated:

About Us | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | © 2022 MinnesotaSeasons.com. All rights reserved.