Purple Trillium

Purple Trillium

Botanical Name: Trillium erectum

En Français: Trille dressé


Colour: Maroon, Red

The red trillium, also known as the wake robin, sports the traditional three petal design while instead of clean linen white petals it sports deep maroon red blooms. This spring blooming flower prefers acidic soil.

Indigenous groups used the root of Purple Trillium as an aid to childbirth. The whole plant was made into a poultice used to treat tumors, inflammation, and ulcers. Purple Trillium was also used as a remedy for coughs and ulcers.

Edible uses of the plant are limited. Some sources recommend using the leaves (gathered before the appearance of the flowers) as an addition to salads or as a cooked vegetable. The berries and roots are inedible and are said to be poisonous.

Other Characteristics

Pollinators: Other

Sun/Shade: Partial Sun, Shade

Planting and Care Considerations

It needs to receive ample sunlight early in its growing season. For this reason avoid siting it on the north side of buildings, where there isn't much early season sunlight. It requires a rich soil with consistent moisture and should be mulched with leaves to help maintain adequate moisture and acidity levels.

Virginia Bluebells and Shootingstar.

Spread: 15 cm

Water: Medium to moist

Best Soil: Sand, Loam, Clay

Growth Habit: 

More Information

Purple Trillium is also known as Stinking Benjamin, Illscented Trillium, Illscented
Wakerobin, Stinking Willie, Wet Dog Trillium, and Wet Dog Wakerobin. These names
are a reference to the fact that the flowers have an unpleasant, fetid scent which attracts
flesh flies, carrion beetles, and similar insects to act as pollinators.