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Herbaceous Perennial

Trillium erectum
  • RHS AGM

birthroot

T. erectum is a perennial to 50cm in height, with erect stems each bearing a whorl of three broadly ovate leaves and a solitary, terminal, nodding deep maroon, occasionally white, flowers 5-9cm across in spring

Other common names
American shamrock
bathroot
see morebethroot
bloody nose
bumblebee root
death root
dog flower
ground lily
Indian balm
lamb's quarters
lamb's succory
orange blossoms
red Benjamin
squawroot
stinking Benjamin
herb Paris [2]
nosebleed [2]
true love [2]

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Size
Ultimate height
0.1–0.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
0.1–0.5 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained
pH
Acid, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Purple White Green
Summer Green
Autumn
Winter
Position
  • Full shade
  • Partial shade
Aspect

North–facing or West–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H5
Botanical details
Family
Melanthiaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Columnar upright
Genus

Trillium are rhizomatous, herbaceous perennials with erect stems bearing a whorl of ovate or diamond-shaped leaves, with one or more erect or nodding flowers borne at the stem apex

Name status

Correct

Plant range
E North America

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in deep, moist but well-drained, humus-rich, preferably acid to neutral soil in deep or partial shade. Mulch in autumn with leaf mould

Propagation

Propagate by seed in pots in a shady cold frame as soon as seed is ripe; takes 5-7 years to reach flowering size. Propagate rhizomes by division after flowering or cut out the growing point from the rhizome after flowering, which stimulates the formation

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Underplanting of roses and shrubs
  • Flower borders and beds
Pruning

No pruning required

Pests

Slugs and snails may be a problem

Diseases

Generally disease free

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