Trillium recurvatum

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Trillium recurvatum
Trillium recurvatum TN.jpg
Trillium recurvatum in open flower

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[3] or prairie trillium, is a spring wildflower in the Melanthiaceae family. It is native to parts of the central and eastern United States, where it is found from Iowa south to Texas and east to North Carolina and Pennsylvania[4]. It natural habitat is mesic forests and savannas, often in calcareous soil.[5][6]


Its flower 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.[7] 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]

Trillium recurvatum is common throughout much of its range. It is not considered to be globally threatened, and its status is considered secure.[1] However, it is monitored by conservation agencies in several states at the edge of its range, where it becomes rare. For example, in Wisconsin it is considered rare or uncommon (S3) and therefore a species of special concern.[8] In Michigan, it is considered a state threatened species and is protected by law (S2S3).[9]


  1. ^ a b "Trillium recurvatum". NatureServe Explorer. NatureServe. Retrieved June 28, 2009. 
  2. ^ Kew World Checklist of Seelcted Plant Families
  3. ^ "Trillium recurvatum". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 15 December 2015. 
  4. ^ Trillium recurvatum web page from Vanderbilt Bioimages
  5. ^ "Flora of the Southern and Mid-Atlantic States". 
  6. ^ Prairie Trillium, web page from Illinois Wildflowers
  7. ^ Dan Tenaglia, Trillium Recurvatum web page from Missouri Plants
  8. ^ Reflexed Trillium (Trillium revurvatum), Endangered Resources Program Species Information, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.[dead link]
  9. ^ Trillium Recurvatum, Michigan Natural Features Inventory, Lansing. (PDF)

External links[edit]