Home Prairie and Wetland Center
16245 S US Hwy 71
Belton, MO 64012
Tel: (816) 331-9738
Fax: (816) 331-9739

Trillium recurvatum

Purple Trillium

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Trillium recurvatum (Purple Trillium)

This trillium species, sometimes commonly called bloody butcher, has unbranched, naked stems topped by three, evenly-spaced, lance-shaped, dark green leaves. Leaves are mottled with purple. The flower features purple to brownish-purple, erect petals with three reflexed (turned down) sepals. Blooms appear to be stalkless atop the center of the three-leaf whorl. The clump-forming plants develop from thick, underground rhizomes and will spread slowly if left undisturbed. Foliage will usually die to the ground by mid-summer, particularly if the soil is allowed to dry out.

Additional Information:
The trillium is a simple, graceful perennial that is one of the most familiar and beloved of the spring woodland wildflowers. Leaves, petals and sepals all come in groups of three.

12-18 Inches


- Inches


Bloom/Seasonal Color

USDA Hardiness Zone 4-9

Home Owner Growing and Maintenance Tips:
A classic spring-blooming, woodland wildflower. Excellent when massed in a shaded woodland garden, naturalized area or wildflower garden. Mixes well with other spring wildflowers and ferns. Not recommended for the perennial border.

Good Companions
Jack-in-the-Pulpit (Arisaema atrorubens), Sharp-lobed Hepatica (Hepatica acutiloba), Black Cohosh (Actaea podocarpa), Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica), Goat's Beard (Aruncus dioicus)

Characteristics & Attributes

Hydrologic Designation




Season of Interest

Mid (May-June)
Early (Feb-Apr)

Soil Moisture


Sun Exposure

Medium Sun/Average Shade

USFS MO Ecological Map