Trillium recurvatum

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Trillium recurvatum
Trillium recurvatum AR.jpg
Trillium recurvatum side view showing recurved sepals

Secure (NatureServe)[1]
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Liliales
Family: Melanthiaceae
Genus: Trillium
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 prairie trillium[3] or bloody butcher[4], is a species of perennial herbaceous flowering plant in the family Melanthiaceae. It is native to parts of central and eastern United States, where it is found from Iowa south to Texas and east to North Carolina and Pennsylvania.[5] Its natural habitat is mesic forests and savannas, often in calcareous soil.[6][7]


Its flower has three brown to maroon petals that are typically under 3 centimetres (1.2 in) long with tips converging over the stamens. [8] The sepals are recurved, pointing downwards when the flower is fully opened. The fruit has six well developed ridges (see photo). The seeds have an oil-rich structure called an elaiosome, which promotes 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.[9] In Michigan, it is considered a state threatened species and is protected by law (S2S3).[10]


  1. ^ a b "Trillium recurvatum". NatureServe Explorer. NatureServe. Retrieved June 28, 2009.
  2. ^ Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
  3. ^ Case Jr., Frederick W. (2002). "Trillium recurvatum". In Flora of North America Editorial Committee (ed.). Flora of North America North of Mexico (FNA). 26. New York and Oxford. Retrieved July 16, 2019 – via, Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
  4. ^ "Trillium recurvatum". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 15 December 2015.
  5. ^ Trillium recurvatum web page from Vanderbilt Bioimages
  6. ^ "Flora of the Southern and Mid-Atlantic States".
  7. ^ Prairie Trillium, web page from Illinois Wildflowers
  8. ^ Dan Tenaglia, Trillium Recurvatum web page from Missouri Plants
  9. ^ Reflexed Trillium (Trillium revurvatum), Endangered Resources Program Species Information, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
  10. ^ Trillium Recurvatum, Michigan Natural Features Inventory, Lansing. (PDF)

External links[edit]