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Yellow Trillium, Yellow Wakerobin - Trillium luteum

Family: Liliaceae - Lily family Genus Common Name: Trillium Native Status: NativeMonocot Perennial Herb
Trillium luteum - Yellow Trillium, Yellow Wakerobin. Primarily a species of south of the Mason Dixon Line, Trillium luteum is also found in Michigan and Ontario, Canada.

Recent classifications have moved the Trilliums, along with 9 other Liliaceae genera, into the family Melanthiaceae. Among the criteria for that change is the fact that Lilies have 6 tepals - sepals and petals which are almost identical - but Trilliums sepals are distinctly different from their petals. Unlike the Lilies, Trillium sepals persist longer than their petals. I have so far continued to leave Trillium in Liliaceae on USWildflowers.com.

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Trillium luteum

Distribution of Trillium luteum in the United States and Canada:
USDA Plants Distribution Map temporarily unavailable.
Blue=Native; Grey=Introduced

Map from USDA Plants Database:
USDA, NRCS. 2017. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 21 Feb 2018). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.

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Site: Reflection Riding, Hamilton County, TN Date: 2012-March-21Photographer: Gerald C. Williamson
Nikon D7000
As with all Trilliums, Yellow Trillium mottled leaves are in a whorl of three.
Trillium luteum

Site: Reflection Riding, Hamilton County, TN Date: 2012-March-21Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
Similar Trillium cuneatum normally has maroon petals, but they are occasionally bronze, greenish, or yellow. However, if yellow they will have reddish tinges, while Trillium luteum petals, when yellow, are pure yellow. Trillium luteum petals can occasionally be a shade of green. Trillium luteum has a lemony fragrance.
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Trillium luteum

Site: Appalachian Trail, Testnatee Gap, Union County, GA Date: 2012-April-29Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
Trillium luteum normally grows to 10-15 inches tall. Flowers are sessile.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Trillium luteum

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All content except USDA Plants Database map Copyright Gerald C. Williamson 2018
Photographs Copyright owned by the named photographer