Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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Trillium chloropetalum


Higher Taxonomy
Family: MelanthiaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: 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.
Genera In Family: 10 genera, 130 species: northern hemisphere. Note: W North America Zigadenus moved to Toxicoscordion.
eFlora Treatment Author: Dale W. McNeal, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Dale W. McNeal, Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: TrilliumView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: 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.
Etymology: (Latin: 3, from leaves) Note: Trillium rivale moved to Pseudotrillium.
eFlora Treatment Author: Dale W. McNeal & Bryan D. Ness
Reference: Farmer 2006 Aliso 22:579--592; Freeman 1975 Brittonia 27:1--62
Trillium chloropetalum (Torr.) Howell
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. Chromosomes: n=5.
Ecology: Edges of redwood forest, chaparral, generally moist slopes, canyon banks in alluvial soils; Elevation: 100--2000 m. Bioregional Distribution: KR, NCoRI, CCo, SnFrB. Flowering Time: Apr--May Note: Highly variable; a population may contain many color variants.
Synonyms: Trillium chloropetalum var. giganteum (Hook. & Arn.) Munz
Jepson eFlora Author: Dale W. McNeal & Bryan D. Ness
Reference: Farmer 2006 Aliso 22:579--592; Freeman 1975 Brittonia 27:1--62
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

Previous taxon: Trillium angustipetalum
Next taxon: Trillium ovatum

Botanical illustration including Trillium chloropetalumbotanical illustration including Trillium chloropetalum

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Citation for this treatment: Dale W. McNeal & Bryan D. Ness 2012, Trillium chloropetalum, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on July 15, 2024.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2024, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on July 15, 2024.

Trillium chloropetalum
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©2011 Julie Kierstead Nelson
Trillium chloropetalum
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©2010 Barry Breckling
Trillium chloropetalum
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©2007 Neal Kramer
Trillium chloropetalum
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©2011 Julie Kierstead Nelson
Trillium chloropetalum
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©2004 George W. Hartwell

More photos of Trillium chloropetalum
in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Trillium chloropetalum:
KR, NCoRI, CCo, SnFrB.
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2. County and Jepson Region polygons can be turned off and on using the check boxes.
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 occurrence).


Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.

View all CCH records
All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month Flowering-Fruiting Monthly Counts

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).