Trillium recurvatum

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Trillium recurvatum
Trillium recurvatum TN.jpg
Conservation status

Secure (NatureServe)[1]
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
Order: Liliales
Family: Melanthiaceae
Genus: Trillium
Species: T. recurvatum
Binomial name
Trillium recurvatum
L.C.Beck, 1826
  • Phyllantherum recurvatum (L.C.Beck) Nieuwl.
  • Trillium unguiculatum Raf.
  • Trillium unguiculatum Nutt.

Trillium recurvatum, the Bloody butcher or Prairie trillium, is a member of the Melanthiaceae family. It occurs in parts of the central and eastern United States from Iowa south to Texas and east to North Carolina and Pennsylvania,[3] usually mesic deciduous forest, including tallgrass prairie savannah. Trees which frequently shade this trillium include oak, maple, ash and hickory.[4]

Prairie trillium fruit in late June in Iowa.

The blossom has three brown to maroon petals that are typically under 3 centimetres (1.2 in) long. The petals are recurved, with tips converging over the stamens.[5] The fruit has 6 well developed ridges (see photo). The seeds include structures known as elaiosomes, to promote dispersal by ants and other foraging insects.

Conservation status[edit]

Globally, the prairie trillium is considered to be secure (G5), but several states at the edge of its range have listed it. In Wisconsin, it is considered rare or uncommon (S3) and therefore a species of special concern.[6] In Michigan, it is considered a state threatened species and is protected by law (S2S3).[7]

Trillium recurvatum ovaries and seeds


  1. ^ "Trillium recurvatum". NatureServe Explorer. NatureServe. Retrieved June 28, 2009. 
  2. ^ Kew World Checklist of Seelcted Plant Families
  3. ^ Trillium recurvatum web page from Vanderbilt Bioimages
  4. ^ Prairie Trillium, web page from Illinois Wildflowers
  5. ^ Dan Tenaglia, Trillium Recurvatum web page from Missouri Plants
  6. ^ Reflexed Trillium (Trillium revurvatum), Endangered Resources Program Species Information, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.[dead link]
  7. ^ Trillium Recurvatum, Michigan Natural Features Inventory, Lansing. (PDF)

External links[edit]