Prairie Trillium, Red Trillium, Bloody Butcher, Brown Bess, Wake-Robin

Trillium recurvatum

Family: Trilliaceae
Genus: Trillium (TRIL-ee-um) (Info)
Species: recurvatum (rek-er-VAY-tum) (Info)



Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)


6-9 in. (15-22 cm)


USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:

Light Shade


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Maroon (Purple-Brown)

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer


Grown for foliage


Other details:

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

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

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

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:

Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed

Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible


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

Anniston, Alabama

Birmingham, Alabama

Heber Springs, Arkansas

Berkeley, California

Atlanta, Georgia

Tunnel Hill, Georgia

Machesney Park, Illinois

Mount Prospect, Illinois

Plainfield, Illinois

Quincy, Illinois

Rockford, Illinois

Streamwood, Illinois

Anderson, Indiana

Indianapolis, Indiana

Martinsville, Indiana

Melbourne, Kentucky

Coushatta, Louisiana

East Brookfield, Massachusetts

Pinconning, Michigan

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Summertown, Tennessee

Chimacum, Washington

Franklin, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On May 31, 2012, hermioneann from Indianapolis, IN (Zone 6a) wrote:

I have not yet tried to cultivate these myself but they thrive in the woods behind my house; a testament to just how hardy they can be in this area as they receive no attention at all.


On Nov 23, 2007, macybee from Deer Park, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

It is easily identified with it's petiolate leaves, recurved sepals and relatively short petals. It has a similar color range to T lancifloium, although is normally a brownish-maroon to red-maroon. It has a very wide range for a sessile trillium and can be quite variable in size, petal color and leaf marking.


On Mar 14, 2006, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

This is a very thriving plant with interesting foliage for those who can't grow most of the southern species. It is rated to zone 4a hardy. I had no trouble with it, except for its slow spreading rate. I wish there are better words than "Prairie Trillium" since that makes people think it grows in full sun, not in woodland. It grows in neutral to slightly alkaline soil in woodland shade in sandy soil. It have smaller petals than the other sessile species that grows in zone 4.


On Aug 9, 2004, thehumblebumble from Heber Springs, AR (Zone 7b) wrote:

One of my all time favorite spring bloomers. Loves a moist soil but not standing water. Full shade to light shade. Spreads slowly. Likes a lot of composted soil.