Trillium erectum var. album

(Michaux) Pursh

Fl. Amer. Sept. 1: 245. 1814.

Basionym: Trillium rhomboideum var. album Michaux Fl. Bor.-Amer. 1: 215. 1803
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 26. Treatment on page 98. Mentioned on page 104.

Petals white.

Phenology: Flowering spring (late Mar–early May).
Habitat: Upland deciduous forested slopes, stream banks, wooded roadsides at lower elevations
Elevation: 200–700 m


V26 101-distribution-map.jpg

N.B., Ont., Que., Conn., Del., Ga., Ill., Ind., Ky., Maine, Md., Mass., Mich., N.H., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Ohio, Pa., R.I., S.C., Tenn., Vt., Va., W.Va.


Variety album is occasional throughout the range stated above and is almost the only variety of Trillium erectum found at elevations less than 450 m in western North Carolina and areas surrounding the Great Smoky Mountains, but occasional white-flowered plants can occur in any population.

Variety album differs from var. erectum mainly just in petal color, and probably should be reduced to the rank of forma. Many other colors occur sporadically in otherwise typically maroon to purple populations, most frequently a soft pale yellow, but also white with a pink overlay, or paler forms of reddish maroon. Only some of these other forms seem to have been named. This is probably to the good, since some are forms in the true sense but others may represent interspecific hybrids (F. W. Case and G. L. Burrows 1962). Reports of T. erectum from west of the mapped distribution in Ohio, Michigan, and Illinois may represent T. flexipes forma walpolei, introgressive hybrids between outlying colonies of T. erectum and various other species (F. W. Case and G. L. Burrows 1962; F. W. Case and R. B. Case 1997), or escapes from gardens.

Selected References


Lower Taxa

Frederick W. Case Jr. +
(Michaux) Pursh +
Trillium rhomboideum var. album +
N.B. +, Ont. +, Que. +, Conn. +, Del. +, Ga. +, Ill. +, Ind. +, Ky. +, Maine +, Md. +, Mass. +, Mich. +, N.H. +, N.J. +, N.Y. +, N.C. +, Ohio +, Pa. +, R.I. +, S.C. +, Tenn. +, Vt. +, Va. +  and W.Va. +
200–700 m +
Upland deciduous forested slopes, stream banks, wooded roadsides at lower elevations +
Flowering spring (late Mar–early May). +
Fl. Amer. Sept. +
Trillium erectum var. album +
Trillium erectum +
variety +