Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Painted Trillium
Trillium undulatum

Family: Trilliaceae
Genus: Trillium (TRIL-ee-um) (Info)
Species: undulatum (un-dew-LAY-tum) (Info)

One vendor has this plant for sale.

7 members have or want this plant for trade.


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)
12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

6-9 in. (15-22 cm)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

Sun Exposure:
Light Shade
Partial to Full Shade
Full Shade

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer


Other details:
This plant may be considered a protected species; check before digging or gathering seeds

Soil pH requirements:
5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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to view:

By kayaker
Thumbnail #1 of Trillium undulatum by kayaker

By LadyAshleyR
Thumbnail #2 of Trillium undulatum by LadyAshleyR


3 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive CatskillDeb On Apr 22, 2009, CatskillDeb from Oneonta, NY (Zone 4a) wrote:

It is native in upstate NY, found at the higher elevations, often near tall pines. It blooms on our property in about the third week of May, usually after a warm rain. It develops a bright red seed in mid-summer that looks something like a fruit. The deer sometimes eat the flowers and the seed, so this trillium is not widespread. In addition to being known as almost impossible to transplant, it's also very slow to germinate from seed, taking 2 or more years to sprout and then up to 4 years to grow large enough to flower.

Positive malsprower On May 18, 2008, malsprower from Stevens Point, WI wrote:

these plants are spectacular and they tend to grow everywhere here in Vermont. i saw one plant with six leaves!

Positive rcn48 On Apr 5, 2005, rcn48 from Lexington, VA (Zone 6a) wrote:

From William Cullina's Growing and Propagating Wildflowers of the United States and Canada:

Quoting: Painted Trillium is a striking species, with pure white, upward-facing flowers with a prominent triangle of red-purple in the throat that bleeds up along the veins of the petals to the tips. The fruit is a distinctive, smooth oval berry with a pointed tip. Painted Trillium is a common species in northern New England and southeastern Canada, but is very difficult to grow in cultivation, needing consistently moist, cool, acid soils and especially prone to rots in less than ideal conditions. I include it because this is a species often wild collected and sold as "nursery propagated", but you can be 99 percent sure that no nursery is really successfully propagating it. Please enjoy it in the wild".

I was fortunate to have large stands of this plant growing on the property I used to own in Maine. In early spring, its distinguishing feature is the bronze-green foliage versus the green of other Trilliums in the area.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Oakland, Maryland
Royal Oak, Michigan
Oneonta, New York
Newport Center, Vermont

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