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Dale W. McNeal, except as noted

Perennial herb, from rhizome or bulb, or rhizomes ending in weakly developed bulbs, scapose or not. Leaf: alternate, whorled, or mostly basal and spirally arranged, deciduous after 1 year or not. Inflorescence: raceme, panicle, or flowers 1. Flower: perianth parts 6, in 2 petal-like whorls or of sepals and petals, free or fused below, ± spreading; stamens 6, from perianth, anthers attached at base or near middle; ovary superior or partly inferior, chambers 3, styles 3, persistent. Fruit: capsule, loculicidal or septicidal.
10 genera, 130 species: northern hemisphere. W North America Zigadenus moved to Toxicoscordion. —Scientific Editors: Dale W. McNeal, Thomas J. Rosatti.

Key to Melanthiaceae


Dale W. McNeal & Bryan D. Ness

Rhizome short, thick, spreading to erect. Stem: erect, >=1 per rhizome. Leaf: 3, in 1 whorl subtending flower, sessile or subsessile, ± ovate. Inflorescence: flowers 1 per stem, erect to nodding, stalked or sessile. Flower: bisexual; sepals 3, free, persistent, ± green; petals 3, free, withering, white, ± pink, ± yellow, or purple; stamens 6; ovary chambers 3, styles 3. Fruit: capsule, ± berry-like. Seed: many, ovoid.
± 30–40 species: North America, Asia. (Latin: 3, from leaves) [Farmer 2006 Aliso 22:579–592; Freeman 1975 Brittonia 27:1–62] Trillium rivale moved to Pseudotrillium.

Key to Trillium

T. chloropetalum (Torr.) Howell GIANT TRILLIUM
Stem: 2–7 dm. Leaf: sessile, 7–21 cm, 7–18 cm wide, rounded to obtuse at tip, generally weakly ± brown-green-spotted. Flower: erect, sessile; odor generally sweet rose-like or ± spicy; sepals 3.5–6.5 cm, lanceolate; petals erect or leaning inward and ± concealing stamens, 6.5–10 cm, linear-oblanceolate to obovate, yellow to pink to dark purple, occasionally white; stamens 15–30 mm, tissue between anther sacs purple; ovary purple. Fruit: ovoid, obscurely 6-angled, red-purple, pulpy.
n=5. Edges of redwood forest, chaparral, generally moist slopes, canyon banks in alluvial soils; 100–2000 m. Inner North Coast Ranges, San Francisco Bay Area. [Trillium chloropetalum var. giganteum (Hook. & Arn.) Munz] Highly variable; a population may contain many color variants. Apr–May [Online Interchange]

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 30 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Trillium, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 30 2015

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click for enlargement Trillium chloropetalum
See CalPhotos for additional images
Jo-Ann Ordano © 2005 California Academy of Sciences

Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Trillium chloropetalum Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.