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  • Final Week to Save 50% on All Spring-Planted Perennials for Spring Delivery

Red Trillium

Red Trillium, also known as Purple Trillium and Wake Robin, blooms with stunning, three-petaled red flowers. Prefers moist shade and rich soil. (Trillium erectum)
Product Size Price Price Per Unit Quantity
Bag of 3

Price: $18.95

Sale: $9.48

$3.16 / Per Root
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Call 877-270-5187


Zones: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Plant Size: 12-14" tall, 12" wide
Light: Half Sun / Half Shade, Full Shade
Bloom Time: Mid to late spring
Shipping: Shipping begins in late March based on ground temperatures, warmest zones first.

Click Here for more details, product description, reviews, how-to guides and shipping information.

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Common Name Wake-Robin
Botanical Name Trillium erectum
Zones 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Light Requirements Half Sun / Half Shade, Full Shade
Flower Color Red
Estimated Mature Height 12-14" tall
Estimated Mature Spread 12" wide
Bloom Time Mid to late spring
Planting Depth Plant so that the top of the root is 1" below the soil line.
Ships As Bare Root
Planting Season Spring, Summer
Will Tolerate Loamy Soil, Moist/Wet Soil
Soil Moisture Moist/Wet, Well Draining
Suggested Uses Deer Resistant, Multiplies / Naturalizes
Ideal Growing Region N/A
Ships to Canada No
Our Master Gardeners Suggest Pairing With:
One of the most famous members of the famous Trillium family, the Red (or Purple) Trillium is known by several names, including Wake Robin. This beautiful wildflower is one of the easiest Trilliums to grow, since it is tolerant of acid or alkaline soils. Native all over the northern states from Maine to Michigan, and south to the Carolinas, mostly in mountains, the Red Trillium requires moist shade and rich woodland soil. The spring blooms are up to 4 in. across, and held high above the leaves on upright plants to 16 tall. Like all Trilliums, everything appears in threes--three leaves, three petals. A real beauty for any shade garden. Our trillium plants are nursery propagated from seed.

The Trillium Tribe, and why its so famous. The classic 4-inch thick botanical reference work, Hortus Third, tells us that there are about 30 species of Trillium worldwide, but the majority of the species are native to North America. A very few originate in Japan and Korea, none in Europe. This is one reason that our colonists were so taken with these woodland beauties when they arrived. They had simply never seen anything like them.

Trilliums, as the name implies have everything in 3s--three leaves, three petals, etc. And compared to the other spring flowers that bloom when winter is finally over in our cold climates, the Trilliums are the ones with large look-at-me flowers. They were famous with the Indians before colonization, and instantly the stars of spring bloom with the colonists.

Remember, when the colonists arrived, they arrived on our east coast which was totally wooded--big, primeval old growth forest, right down to the beaches. And under these cathedral-like trees were the woodland native flowers--almost all species the Europeans had never seen. Also, this is why almost all the native flowers of our east coast are woodland plants, not meadow wildflowers. Of this famous original group of woodland wildflowers, which includes the Lady Slippers, Mayflower, Hepatica and many more, the Trilliums reigned supreme.

For centuries the flowers were picked heavily, which is unfortunate since a picked trillium is a dead trillium. But it was the clearing of the forests for farming, a necessity for the colonists, that really devastated the woodland wildflowers. We like to wring our hands about paving for interstates and new condominium projects today, but we needn't. The damage was done long ago when our ancestors cleared the eastern forests for farming. Of course, there are relatively small habitats left, and in recent years, our forested area has been enlarging, and woodland wildflower habitat has been restored in many places.

In any case, this elegant class of flowers, the Trilliums, are now recognized as precious and special, although they are not officially endangered. In many areas, Trilliums are still very common.

Wildflower gardeners love them, and it is true that most of them are not difficult to grow or transplant, and if conditions are good, they thrive. However, it does help to know the facts.

Here's how they are propagated. Trilliums such as The Great White spread very slowly by underground root stocks, and the seed produced creates new plants even more slowly. From a planted seed, it takes approximately five to nine years for a Trillium grandiflorum plant (the Great White Trillium) to bloom. So when you see a massive drift of these in spring, you kinow youre looking at a bunch of plants that are at least a decade old, probably much older. These plants are not daisies!

And how do they propagate themselves? Well, T. grandiflorum is one of the wildflowers whose seeds are distributed by ants. Yes, ants--not birds or bees, or the wind, but ants. This is why the species creates large close drifts over the years. Plants are never very far apart, since ants don't travel far. So each clump of T. grandiflorum you see was planted where you see it by an ant. (They carry the seeds away when they fall from the plant because the ants enjoy the sticky covering each seed case has when it falls to the ground.)

That brings us to the basic rarity of the Trilliums. A big factor is that each flower produces only one seed case when it fades. (Everybody knows that most flowers--a daisy, for example, produces hundreds of loose seeds from each flower.) So even if the ants find the sticky seed case, and take it underground where the several seeds inside can grow, there simply aren't huge numbers of white trillium seeds being planted each year. Other trillium species have various propagation strategies, but all take years and years.

Now you have some idea of the value of these beautiful plants. They are an important part of American botanical history, and deserve a place of honor in every American wildflower garden.

Here are the best known species, with a little info on each:
Trillium grandiflorum, Great White Trillium. The provincial flower of Ontario, and quite common there and around the Great Lakes. Also the official wildflower of Ohio, T. grandiflorum is native over most of the east, from Canada to Georgia, especially in neutral or non-acid soils. Large white flowers fade to pink; plants form large drifts.
Trillium erectum, Red Trillium. Also called Wake Robin and Stinking Benjamin, the second because of the flowers unpleasant odor, said to be similar to rotting meat. Propagated by flies. Red to purple flowers; plants solitary in acid or alkaline woods. Native to the eastern forests from Canada to Georgia.
Trillium undulatum, Painted Trillium. Smaller than the Great White or Red, but with one of the most beautiful flowers--white with purplish/red centers. Must have highly acidic soil; common in pine woods. Native to forests from Canada to Georgia.
Trillium Catesbaei, Rosy Trillium or Catesby Trillium. One of the first Trilliums discovered and named for Mark Catesby, the famous early British plant explorer and artist. The Rosy Trillium has somewhat smallish blooms which nod below the leaves. It is native to the Southeast, where Catesby visited.
Trillium viride var luteum, Yellow Trillium. This unusual trillium has mottled leaves and lemon yellow blooms that hold their petals high and never really open. It is often said to have a lemon scent, and is native from Kentucky south to Florida.
Trillium ovatum, Coast Trillium. This is a famous western trillium, much like T. grandiflorum in the east. Flowers are white, fading to pink. It is native from British Columbia through coastal forests all the way to central California.

Our Master Gardeners Suggest Pairing With:


by PowerReviews

(based on 6 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars



  • 4 Stars



  • 3 Stars



  • 2 Stars



  • 1 Stars




of respondents would recommend this to a friend.



      Best Uses

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No (3)

        Reviewed by 6 customers

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        Red trillium

        By Kurt

        from Greenville , SC



          • Most Of Them Were Rotten

          Best Uses

          • In Our Shade Garden

          We were very dissapointed with the trilliums...none of the red came up!

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

          red trillium

          By fotobuf

          from Mount Pleasant, MI

          First planting was this spring and they are growing but small yet. I am looking forward to seeing how they look next year.


          Did not grow

          By KH

          from Edwards, CO

          Verified Reviewer



              Best Uses

                I planted these last fall and none of the plants made it through to grow this year.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

                Good quality

                By Heather

                from Seattle, WA

                Verified Reviewer


                • Fast growing


                • Protect From Slugs

                Best Uses

                • Shade Moist Acidic Soil
                • Shade Under Pines
                • Woodland gardens

                Planted these in a shady problem spot. They seem to love it! The plants were starting to grow in the bag, so I planted them right away. They have grown from little starts, to three to four inch tall plants with full blown leaves in less than a week. Much hardier than other trilliums I have tried to grow in my garden! Just remember to protect them from slugs.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


                Beauties to Behold!

                By TibbieMom

                from Vancouver, WA

                Verified Reviewer


                • Beautiful in Groups
                • Dainty
                • Easy care
                • Shade Lover


                  Best Uses

                  • Great color
                  • Striking Blooms In Garden

                  These look wonderful at the outer edge of shaded areas, especially under trees. They are beautiful grouped together.

                  (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)


                  When can I order more!!!

                  By Martha of the south

                  from Louisiana

                  Verified Reviewer

                  This is the first time I have had any luck with growing trilliums ...everyone one sprouted-one bloomed this first year.

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                  How-To Guides
                  Our Master Gardeners Suggest Pairing With:

                  Shipping begins in late March based on ground temperatures, warmest zones first.

                  View Shipping Rate Chart

                  As soon as your order is placed you will receive a confirmation email. You will receive a second email the day your order ships telling you how it has been sent. Some perennials are shipped as potted plants, some as perennial roots packed in peat.  The ‘Details’ tab describes how that item will ship. All perennials and spring-planted bulbs are packaged to withstand shipping and are fully-guaranteed. Please open upon receipt and follow the instructions included.

                  Perennials and spring-planted bulbs are shipped at the proper planting time for your hardiness zone. Perennial and spring-planted bulb orders will arrive separately from seeds. If your order requires more than one shipment, there is no additional shipping charge. See our Shipping Information page for approximate ship dates and more detailed information. If you need express shipping or have any questions, please call Customer Service toll-free at (877) 309-7333 or Contact Us by email.

                  Our Master Gardeners Suggest Pairing With:

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