American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Any of various plants of the genus Trillium, of North America, the Himalaya Mountains, and eastern Asia, usually having a cluster of three leaves and a variously colored, three-petaled flower. Also called birthroot, wake-robin.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A genus of liliaceous plants, of the tribe Medeoleæ. It is characterized by a solitary flower, usually with the three outer segments green and herbaceous, and the three inner segments larger, colored, and withering-persistent. There are about 15 species, 14 of which are natives of North America; 2 occur in Asia from the Himalayas to Japan. They are singular and attractive plants with a short, thick, fleshy rootstock (see cut under
rhizome) producing a low unbranched erect stem terminated by a whorl of three broad deep-green leaves, each with three to five nerves, and also finely netted-veined. From their center rises the sessile or pedicelled flower, either reddish, purple, white, or greenish, with a large three-celled and three- to six-angled ovary bearing three slender spreading stigmas, and becoming in fruit an ovoid reddish berry. The contrast presented by the colored petals and prominent green sepals is an unusual one in the order, but it disappears in T. Govanianum and in T. viridescens (now esteemed a variety of T. sessile), in which the perianth-segments are all colored alike. They are known by the generic name, and as three-leafed nightshade, the white species also as wakerobin, white bath, birthroot, and in the West as wood-lily. T. erectum, the purple trillium, a strong-scented species, is also known locally as Indian balm, Indian shamrock, and nose-bleed. Of the 7 species in the northeastern United States, 3 produce white and 3 dull-purple flowers; in one, T. erythrocarpum, the painted trillium, the white petals are beautifully marked with deep-red lines. Two species of North Carolina, T. pusillum and T. stylosum, bear respectively flesh-colored and rose-colored flowers. The large handsome white petals turn rose-color in T. grandiflorum of the Eastern and Central States, and in its Californian representative, T. ovatum; in other species they commonly turn greenish. T. sessile, the only species extending across the continent, is remarkable for its closely sessile flower; T. cernuum, for its nodding peduncle; and T. petiolatum, of Oregon, for its extremely short stem. See cuts under rhizomeand wake-robin.
- n. A plant of the above genus.
- n. Any of several perennial flowering plants, of the genus Trillium, having flowers with three petals
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Bot.) A genus of liliaceous plants; the three-leaved nightshade; -- so called because all the parts of the plant are in threes.
- n. any liliaceous plant of the genus Trillium having a whorl of three leaves at the top of the stem with a single three-petaled flower
- New Latin Trillium, genus name, probably from Swedish trilling, triplet (from its three leaves), from obsolete Swedish tri, three, from Old Swedish thrīr. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“After the purple _trillium_ has done flowering, we have the painted trillium of the woods; the _trillium grandiflorum_ is abundant at Grosse”
“We also explained how unique and perfect the trillium was and, of course, that it was our flower.”
“Some brought handfuls of columbine from rocky nooks, and others the purple trillium, that is near of kin to Burroughs's white”
“WHY PLANT IT: These local gems, also known as trillium ovatum, are easy to grow if given the right conditions.”
“The fibrous nature of leaf mould retains moisture and enables free drainage, which means it also makes a fine mulch for woodland treasures such as trillium or wood anemone.”
“Thursday, June 4 2009 any risk this will go the trillium way? is there a major difference?”
“I went out yesterday and found one single, solitary trillium.”
“A few years ago I found a good deal on some dormant trillium through a mail-order company, and probably planted two dozen plants.”
“This is what a trillium looks like in someone * else's* garden.”
“The trillium has such defined markings on the petals!”
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