Plant of the Month for Jul 2024

Trillium cuneatum

Description and General Information:

Trillium cuneatum is often referred to as the purple toadshade or sweet Betsy.  It is native to southeastern USA, especially Kentucky, Tennessee and northern Alabama, where is often inhabits deciduous woodlands often overlying limestone.  It occurs at elevations of 40-400 m.  It is part of a huge complex of sessile-flowered Trillium, being the largest of that group. Plants produce a whorl of three mottled leaves. Plants reach 30-45 cm in height. The 5-8 cm long maroon flowers have a banana-like scent.  Plants spread by thick underground rhizomes. Seeds are distributed by ants.

Trillium cuneatum


Like most Trillium, this species prefers rich, highly organic soil that is well-drained but not too dry.  Dappled shade is best with a preference for alkaline soil. It is hardy in zones 5-8.

Blooming Season:

From March in the south to as late as May in the north.

Trillium cuneatum


Large clumps may be dug and divided after flowering.  Fresh seeds may be sown in situ or in pots immediately after they are shed.  They need a winter to break dormancy.

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