Trillium grandiflorum (Large-flowered Trillium)

Plant Info
Also known as: White Trillium, Snow Trillium, White Wake Robin
Family:Melanthiaceae (Trillium)
Life cycle:perennial
Habitat:part shade, shade; rich woods
Bloom season:May - June
Plant height:8 to 18 inches
Wetland Indicator Status:none
MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):Minnesota county distribution map
National distribution (click map to enlarge):National distribution map

Pick an image for a larger view. See the glossary for icon descriptions.

Detailed Information

Flower: Flower shape: 3-petals

[photo of flowers] Flower is 2 to 3 inches across, 3 white petals, usually with ruffled or wavy edges, and a pointed tip. The petal width varies greatly, from relatively narrow to almost as wide as long. In the center is a group of several yellow stamens. There are 3 green sepals that are shorter and narrower than the petals. Each plant has a single flower at the end of a 2 to 3 inch stalk that rises above the leaves. The flowers turn rosy pink with age.

Leaves: Leaf attachment: whorl Leaf type: simple

[photo of leaves] A single whorl of 3 leaves is at the top of the stem. Leaves are 3 to 6 inches long and wide, generally oval to egg-shaped with a sharply pointed tip and tapering slightly at the base. Deep veins radiate from the base of the leaf.


Large-flowered Trillium is the largest Trillium in Minnesota. It is long-lived but slow to mature—it can be several years between the time seed is germinated and the first flower blooms. The seeds are mostly spread by ants, which take the fruit to their underground homes, eat the fruit flesh and leave the seed behind. At one time Trillium was in its own Trilliaceae family, then moved to the Liliaceae (Lily) family, and is now back in its own family, renamed Melanthiaceae.

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More photos

Photos by K. Chayka taken at Wild River State Park, Chisago County. Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken in a private garden in Anoka County.


Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?

Posted by: Ginny - Hinckley
on: 2009-05-09 18:06:07

I live along the Grindstone river in Hinckley Minnesota. These are plentiful along the river bank and surrounding woods.

Posted by: Paula - Wadena co
on: 2009-05-24 12:47:39

I live in Wadena County of NW- MN the flowers cover the woods surrounding my home.

Posted by: Nikki - New Market TWP
on: 2009-06-08 09:53:28

I have these in my backyard in New Market Township, MN

Posted by: Linda - Sunrise Township
on: 2010-06-02 09:53:09

I found these beautiful flowers in the woods by our house, could be at least 50 plants.

Posted by: Joe - Aitkin
on: 2010-09-07 14:33:05

I have seen large swathes of these flowers in the ditches and semi-open woods along Hwy 169 by Aitkin, MN.

Posted by: Jenifer - Brook Park
on: 2011-05-17 15:31:26

These beautiful flowers grow all over around my house and the surrounding area.

Posted by: Lori - Milacs county
on: 2011-05-20 19:50:19

We were 4 wheeling on the soo line and in Milacs and there were several of these flowers

Posted by: carmen - Hill city
on: 2012-05-19 13:24:54

I live in Hill City and they are everywhere in the woods around my townhome. Both the white and purple. They are just beautiful!!

Posted by: Scott - Pine County
on: 2013-06-07 13:44:14

In the woods by the cabin in Pine County, Trillium are now plentiful, and this is the first year we see them almost everywhere. With the cool spring, this is also the first time they've stayed around for almost a month, giving the white blooms the time to change to pinks and purples.

Posted by: Keith - Lake Mille Lacs
on: 2013-08-19 21:42:49

Trillium grandiflorum is abundant around Lake Mille Lacs and my cabin on the south end of the lake. I've taken many pictures of this beautiful flower.

Posted by: Kathy - Longville, MN, Woman lake
on: 2014-06-09 13:01:14

I found one in the woods next to our new cabin. Very beautiful. Would love to know if there's some way to help propagate them

Posted by: Laura - Pine River, Arrowhead Lake of the Whitefish Chain
on: 2014-09-03 13:26:31

We have quite a few of these growing through the woods here. The variety that I have seen have the flower under the leaves and the petals are curled back towards the stem. They also produce large clusters of red/orange berries at the start of September.

Posted by: Amy - Coon Rapids
on: 2015-05-09 22:41:55

I have about 7 or 8 separate clumps growing beautifully in my backyard by the CR Dam.

Posted by: John - Todd County Highway 21 South of Staples
on: 2015-05-13 13:26:54

This was my first time seeing this beautiful flower! I have been keeping my eyes peeled, and all of a sudden this last Saturday my eyes connected with a beautiful minor sea of these beauties!

Posted by: Julie - Moorhead, MN western Clay County
on: 2015-06-07 22:36:29

I have many of these in the woods behind my house. They are many that are about 18 to 20 inches high.

Posted by: Chris - Minneapolis
on: 2016-05-03 20:56:13

I found this last summer in the deep pine straw mulch lining my driveway. My home is in NE proper but is on 1/2 acre and the mulch is under 11 40'-60' red pines. Haven't seen it bloom yet though.

Posted by: Emily - Duluth
on: 2016-05-15 13:30:30

Growing wild in my backyard.

Posted by: Terry P - Elk River
on: 2017-05-02 20:58:09

I found 10 or so plants in my woods--one is getting ready to bloom! :)

Posted by: Mary Beth - Leech Lake
on: 2017-05-21 17:31:03

They have been along the road to our cabin. More and more each year.

Posted by: Penny - Rusk County WISCONSIN
on: 2017-05-25 04:58:31

They are all over in the woods of northern Wisconsin.

Posted by: Tom S - Garrison, MN
on: 2017-05-28 11:55:36

Plentiful along Lake Mille Lacs wooded shoreline. Bloomed 28th May in 2017.

Posted by: Chris H - Devil Track Wildflower Sanctuary outside Grand Marais
on: 2017-05-29 14:02:03

Beautiful white/pink blooms in a number of locations at their prime

Posted by: Meredith - West St. Paul - Dakota County
on: 2018-03-05 10:54:49

I found a couple of these hidden in a tiny area behind my garage! I attempted to transplant one to a shady part of my garden... but I'm afraid that it didn't survive.

Posted by: Barb - Red Wing
on: 2018-05-22 14:46:13

We just noticed these in a shady area of our yard for the first time. Very pretty; I hope they spread!

Posted by: marisol velilla - Jay Cooke State Park Superio trail
on: 2018-05-29 15:29:25

I saw few of them just along the trail. So pretty, I do have a great picture of one.

Posted by: Walter gross - Outside of cambridge mn
on: 2018-07-20 15:07:49

I have had these large trilliums for the last 35 year's in my yard and in my woods.

Posted by: Madi - St Paul
on: 2019-05-13 19:13:34

We just moved into a new house this winter and now that it's spring we have tons of trilliums blooming in our front yard, what a nice surprise!

Posted by: Rachel Kohn - Rest area on 169 between Milaca and Onamia
on: 2019-05-15 18:55:00

The wooded areas of this rest area had hundreds today!!

Posted by: Stephanie Jean - Bovey, MN
on: 2019-05-17 11:18:37

Transplanted a peony from my grandparents garden a couple falls ago, and was pleasantly surprised to find a trillium blooming near it this spring!

Posted by: Jane Ann - Little Falls
on: 2019-05-21 23:04:12

"Trillions of Trilliums" at Pine Grove Park in LIttle Falls!

Posted by: Steve Tarnowski - Duluth
on: 2019-06-11 07:46:58

We see them lining the Munger Trail between Duluth and Carlton!

Posted by: Bob McFarlin - Minnetonka
on: 2020-05-08 12:26:48

Single trillium discovered in my backyard woods this spring. First trillium I am aware of in 34 years at this address.

Posted by: Daniela Bell - Interstate State Park
on: 2020-05-19 16:03:30

These trillium practically carpet the slopes along the Sandstone trail at Interstate State Park. Lovely! Such a great trail for spring wildflowers.

Posted by: Richard Kinnunen - Brainerd
on: 2020-05-22 16:33:10

Found my first pair of them this morning. Just caught a glance in the brush and took a couple pics. Someone said they're endangered, is that true? Maybe wild ones?

Posted by: K. Chayka
on: 2020-05-22 18:43:34

Richard, this trillium is pretty common in Minnesota (see the distribution map), so no, it's not endangered. Snow trillium is the rarest one in Minnesota, but not endangered either.

Posted by: M Perry - Dayton
on: 2020-05-23 19:09:08

I moved to Dayton 40 years ago and these trillium were growing in the front of my house in a little garden. They still are going strong. They do not spread, they are like three large plants. With them are two other plants that don't spread. The flower is much smaller and bell shaped, and the leaves have like five scalloped edges. I haven't found them yet.

Posted by: Terri - Hubbard county Minnesota
on: 2020-05-24 21:52:04

I found a large trillium in the ditch on a dirt road. I had never seen one before.

Posted by: Nikki - Cass County - Remer
on: 2021-05-16 21:27:06

We have many of these of the white and pink variety

Posted by: Michelle Yarmakov - Cleary Lake Park - Scott County
on: 2022-05-14 21:22:41

Saw them today-5/14/22 - quite a patch of them. I took some pictures.

Posted by: Joy Thompson - Eagan, MN
on: 2022-05-25 12:23:19

I have one plant on my wooded backyard hill that has been there for >15 years, and another very small single plant that showed up a couple years ago. No others. I look for them every year.

Posted by: meadow Adams - Hovland
on: 2022-06-08 15:02:03

If you Hike up past the Devils kettle at Judge Magney State Park there is a largish patch.

Posted by: Rebecca Earnest - Frontenac State Park
on: 2023-05-09 11:58:48

I saw a couple of these flowers on the trail we hiked near the river.

Posted by: Judy Gray - Jay Cooke State Park, Grand Portage Trail
on: 2023-06-12 17:00:43

I understand the showy white trillium morphs to shades of pink and lavendar as it dies away, but I'm seeing some deep rose and dark lavendar flowers now. Are these the same, or a different varietal? June 11th and the white masses are no more. Not finding clear info anywhere. Would appreciate photos of this trillium's stages here.

Posted by: K Chayka
on: 2023-06-12 17:09:07

Judy, there are no varieties of this species so consider those colors to be natural variations that might be affected by environmental conditions.

Posted by: Doug - Sandstone, MN
on: 2023-08-21 16:10:29

I have white and apparently red Trillium? The whites are everywhere on land I have, this year I found two with large red lantern type seed pods. Also called Hanging Trillium from what I found.

Posted by: K Chayka
on: 2023-08-21 16:54:19

Doug, all of Minnesota's native trilliums have white flowers, though large-flowered trillium does turn pink as the flower fades. There are some dark red flowered natives to our south and east and some are available in the garden trade. The color of the fruit is not indicative of the flower color.

Posted by: Nathan Rokke - Marshall County
on: 2023-11-29 09:35:07

This plant has never been recorded in Marshall County. However, we have a very large natural population on our property near the Old Mill state park. I will be working with a local SNA representative in the spring to get them officially confirmed and some specimens collected to send to the herbarium.

Posted by: Paul - W.St.Paul
on: 2024-04-13 15:55:18

When I see those pictures of giant patches of GW trillium, I wonder, do they spread mostly by seed or root offshoots?

Posted by: K Chayka
on: 2024-04-13 16:42:56

Paul, this species spreads vegetatively and by seed.

Posted by: Bob Lalone - Hackensack
on: 2024-04-24 08:00:58

Having a cabin on Trillium Lake, we see this flower growing mostly in the wooded areas of the lake lot. They bloom in late spring into mid summer.

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