Trillium viride L.C. Beck

Green Trillium

Trillium viride plant

Family - Liliaceae

Stem - To 40 cm, erect, glabrous.


Leaf - Whorl of 3 aerial leaves, occasionally more or fewer in aberrent individuals, elliptic, sessile, often mottled, upper surface with numerous stomates visible with magnification as tiny white speckles. These are barely visible in the leaf photo below, but can be clearly seen in the field using a 10x hand lens.


Trillium_viride_leaf2Leaf bases.

Flower - Erect, sessile. Sepals 3, spreading to ascending, 3-5 cm long, lanceolate. Petals 3, 4-6 cm, erect, narrowly oblanceolate, with stalklike base 7-15 mm long, light green, sometimes purplish tinged. Stamens 3, less than half as long as petals.



Flowering - April - June.

Habitat - Mesic forests, ravines, streambanks, usually on calcareous substrate.

Origin - Native to the U.S., endemic to MO and IL.

Other info. - This plant is known only from eastern Missouri and a few counties in western Illinois. The flowers are said to have a musty oder similar to rotting apples. Differentiation of this plant from T. viridescens has been controversial, though the latter species apparently lacks the dense stomates present on the upper leaf surfaces of T. viride.
The trilliums have been placed into other families (Melanthiaceae, Trilliaceae) by some authors.

Photographs taken at Washington State Park, Washington County, MO, 5-3-2014 and 4-24-2017, and Danville Conservation Area, Montgomery County, MO, 4-28-2016 (SRTurner).