Trillium luteum

Family:MELANTHIACEAE
Species:Trillium luteum (Muhlenberg) Harbison
Common Name:Yellow Trillium; Yellow Wakerobin; Lemon Scented Trillium
Habitat:Rich hardwood forests, along streams, and in hardwood coves
Associated Ecological Communities:**
Growth Habit:Herb
Duration:Perennial
Category:Vascular
USDA Symbol:TRLU3
Plant Notes:Yellow Trillium is a native perennial in the Bunchflower family (Melanthiaceae). It is rare in Alabama, confined to two counties. Yellow Trillium grows in rich hardwood forests, along streams, and in hardwood coves. It is a perennial from a thick rhizome. Stems are from 6-12 inches in height. The scapes are topped by three leaf-like ovate to elliptic bracts. The bracts are mottled in two shades of green, though this becomes less apparent as the plant ages. The flower is sessile above the bracts. The three petals are bright lemon yellow, with no trace of brown coloring. The anthers and ovary are yellow or greenish yellow, with no trace of brown coloring. The flowers have a strong lemon scent. The fruit is a fleshy capsule with many tan seed. The seed have an oily white elaiosome. Yellow Trillium is frequently available from wildflower nurseries. It prefers a moist, organic-rich soil in full to partial shade. Yellow Trillium is one of the most misunderstood members of the Trillium genus. Many other sessile species occasionally or frequently produce individuals or even entire populations of plants with yellow flowers. Most of these can be distinguished from Yellow Trillium based upon their range, the shape of the petals, and the mottling color of the leaves. Little Sweet Betsy (Trillium cuneatum Rafinesque) often occurs with Yellow Trillium. Its flowers are very similar in shape to those of Yellow Trillium. Yellow flowered forms of Little Sweet Betsy often have some brown color at the base of the petals or on the ovary. A sure way to tell the two apart is by the smell. Yellow Trillium has a pleasant lemon smell while Little Sweet Betsy has a musty smell. The two species sometimes grow together and are known to hybridize, making identification of some plants difficult.--A. Diamond
Taxonomic Notes:**
Status:Native, S? (State Rank), G4 (Global Rank)
References:Freeman, J.D. 1975. Revision of Trillium Subgenus Phyllantherum (Liliaceae). Brittonia 27: 1-62.
Specimen: View specimen details in the Alabama Herbarium Consortium Specimen Database

** Not applicable or data not available.

Classification

FamilyMELANTHIACEAE - Bunchflower Family family
Genus Trillium
Species Trillium luteum (Muhlenberg) Harbison - Yellow Trillium; Yellow Wakerobin; Lemon Scented Trillium

Citation

Citation Trillium luteum (Muhlenberg) Harbison, Biltmore Bot. Stud. 1: 21. 1901.
Basionym: Trillium sessile Linnaeus var. luteum Muhlenberg, Cat. Pl. Amer. Sept., 38. 1813.
Type: TENNESSEE: Knox Co.: north bank of Holston at Knox[ville], 6 Apr [sine anno], Muhlenberg Herbarium 533 (Holotype: PH).

** Not applicable or data not available.

Synonyms

SynonymFull CitationBasionymType
Trillium sessile var. luteum Trillium sessile Linnaeus var. luteum Muhlenberg, Cat. Pl. Amer. Sept., 38. 1813.  
Trillium cuneatum var. luteum    
Trillium viride var. luteum  Trillium sessile Linnaeus var. luteum Muhlenberg, Cat. Pl. Amer. Sept., 38. 1813. 

Specimens and Distribution

This species has been reported in the following counties by the herbaria listed. An overview of the individual specimens are provided in the table that follows. Click on the accession number to view details; click on column headers to sort; choose a county or herbaria to filter the specimen data.

Counties included on distribution map: Tuscaloosa, Walker

Counties represented by specimen data listed below:

Herbaria represented by specimen data listed below: AMAL, AUA, TROY, UNA

Range of years during which specimens were collected: -

Barcode / Accession No. County Coll. Date Collector &
Collection No.
Herbarium &
Herbarium Name Used
Image
AUA000000265 Walker 20 Mar 2003 Keener, Brian R.
2457
AUA
Trillium Luteum (Muhl.) Harbison
UNA00058467 Tuscaloosa 20 Mar 2003 Keener, Brian R.
2451
UNA
Trillium luteum (Muhl.) Harbison
AMAL00001225 Tuscaloosa 20 Mar 2003 Keener, Brian R.
2451
AMAL
Trillium luteum (Muhlenberg) Harbison
UNA00058421 Walker 20 Mar 2003 Keener, Brian R.
2462
UNA
Trillium luteum (Muhl.) Harbison
UNA00058765 Walker 20 Mar 2003 Keener, Brian R.
2457
UNA
Trillium luteum (Muhl.) Harbison
TROY000025917 Tuscaloosa 20 Mar 2003 Keener, Brian R.
2451
TROY
Trillium luteum (Muhlenberg) Harbison
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