White Trillium Trillium Grandiflorum
Other Names: Bath-flower, Birth-root, Great White Trillium, Ground lily, Large-flower
Wakerobin, Large-flowered Trillium, Trillium, White Trillium, Large White Trillium, Wood
Lily, Indian shamrock
Habitat: (Trillium Grandiflorum) Perennial herb native to Eastern N. America and
Canada, Maine to Ontario, south to Georgia and Arkansas. Found growing in rich woods and
thickets, usually on limestone. Cultivation: Trillium is fairly easy to grow, it prefers a
deep well-drained woodland or humus-rich soil in a shady position that remains moist in
the summer. Transplants from the wild are best, but can be propagated by seed though it
may take 2 years to germinate and another two years to bloom. Trillium is a very
ornamental and long-lived plant. It is said to be a polymorphic species and is very
subject to mutation. The spring flowers symbolizes the early arrival of robins-
wake-robin'. Trillium grows from a short thick root or rhizome. The long stem is
tinged with red, round and smooth, unbranched, growing up to 2 feet high. Atop the stem
there is a whorl of 3 broadly ovate, short petiole, wavy-edged and dark green leaves. This
whorl of leaves can reach as much as 10 to 12 inches in diameter. The flower perches
upright above the leaves on a 2 to 3 inch petiole or small stem, it is bright white at
first turning pink to red with age, it has 3 petals and 3 green sepals, forming a star
shape and can grow 3 to 4 inches in diameter. The flowers bloom in April to May. Gather
young edible leaves in early spring, as soon as they emerge for use as a pot herb. Gather
roots in summer after flowers fade, dry for later herb use.
Properties: White Trillium is edible and medicinal, it has a long history of use by
Native Americans. The root is medicinal as an abortifacient, antiseptic, antispasmodic,
diuretic, emmenagogue, and ophthalmic. The roots, fresh or dry, may be boiled in milk and
used for diarrhea and dysentery. The raw root is grated and applied as a poultice to the
eye in order to reduce swelling, or on aching rheumatic joints. The leaves were boiled in
lard and applied to ulcers as a poultice, and to prevent gangrene. An infusion of the root
is used in the treatment of cramps and a common name for the plant, birthroot',
originated from its use to promote menstruation. A decoction of the root bark can be used
as drops in treating earache. Constituents found in the volatile and fixed oils are,
tannic acid, saponin, a glucoside resembling convallamarin, sulphuric acid and potassium
dichromate, gum, resin, and starch.
HERE TO FIND MANY HERBAL PRODUCTS!
Folklore: Used as abortifacients or to facilitate childbirth, and to treat other female
problems by the women of many Native American tribes. Trillium root was considered to be a
sacred female herb and they only spoke of it to their medicine women.
TRY THESE RECIPES
Medicinal drink: Add 1 tsp. herb decoction to 1 cup warm milk, take at bedtime for
Pot herb: Gather young unfolding leaves boil or fry and season to taste.