Nature Notes

May 7, 2009

Green Trilliums

Filed under: Flowers,Ontario — Harold Stiver @ 7:00 am
All Green Trillium

All Green Trillium

O.K. they are actually White Trillium that have been infected with mycoplasma-like organisms (whatever the heck they are). However they don’t look infected, they actually look very beautiful.

The infection gives the normally white flowers a varying degree of green including some that are entirely green like the one above. It also can cause distortion of the petals, in fact one example below show a flower with six petals instead of the usual three.

Green and White Trillium

Green and White Trillium

A six petaled Trillium

A six petaled Trillium

A beautiful example

A beautiful example

Distorted Petals

Distorted Petals

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  1. We have found creamy yellow trilliums, much like the red trillium but creamy yellow in colour. The are nothing like the “yellow trilliums” I have found online.
    We are in Central Ontario. Do you have any information on this type of trillium.

    Comment by Katherine — May 13, 2009 @ 10:30 am

  2. Hi Katherine:

    I’ve never heard of this color of Trillium. Do you have any pictures? I would love to have a look at them. If you do, perhaps you could email me a copy.

    Thanks, Harold

    Comment by Harold — May 14, 2009 @ 9:49 am

  3. I took a picture of a six petal trillium today at my house. I’ve never seen one before. It is white. We have several dozens of the green and white trilliums growing naturally in the same area but no six petals. Is this common. I took it’s picture. It’s beautiful.

    Comment by Cathy kostendt — May 8, 2011 @ 10:03 pm

  4. Regarding the ‘yellow’ trillium. I have searched many woodlots looking for one this spring to no avail. However, naturalist friends who have seen them claim they have a red centre, like the Wake Robin and Peterson’s say it is a variation of same. So I will be out there next spring looking again!

    Comment by Jayne Evans — June 1, 2014 @ 8:37 pm

  5. Thanks Jane,

    Sounds like it may be a variant of the Painted Trillium.

    Comment by Harold — June 2, 2014 @ 10:40 pm

  6. I came across a “yellow” red trillium in Whitchurch-Stouffville Conservation area yesterday 11 May 2015

    Comment by Geoff Sinton — May 12, 2015 @ 5:11 pm

  7. That is interesting Geoff. It looks like it may be a Red Trillium lacking some pigment.

    Comment by Harold — May 14, 2015 @ 10:51 pm

  8. I have been taking pictures of white trilliums with carnation type flower heads (more than 20 uniformly shaped petals). Some centres have a pale cream colour. Have taken pictures of these trilliums at the same place for 25 plus years. Have to look hard to find them amongst the regular white trilliums, but they are there, concentrated in a small area of hardwoods that include a few hemlock trees. A similar trillium with a more flattened flower head is found in the same area. Their future is threatened by opening the wooded area to nature walks.

    Comment by Carl Mansfield — April 27, 2016 @ 11:41 pm

  9. That’s interesting Carl, I’ve never seen that variation.

    Comment by Harold — April 29, 2016 @ 10:07 pm

  10. hello…found some green white trilliums and have noticed the leaf structure is different than white trillium…they have the three leaves but have a stalk connecting to the stem…I don’t think this would be caused by a micro-organism.

    Comment by dan pautler — May 19, 2016 @ 11:14 am

  11. Sounds like something else is happening Dan. Interesting

    Comment by Harold — May 19, 2016 @ 10:45 pm

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