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Scientific name: Trillium erectum

Also known as Red Trillium,Wake-robin, Birthroot and Birthwort, this perennial flowering plant is native to our region and is a member of the lily family. It gets its name from the fact that there are three leaves and its flower has three petals. This is a small plant 8-12 inches in height. Sadly, due to the overpopulation of deer in Lewisboro, these have been wiped out on all but the steep areas which are inaccessible to them.

All in all, there are five different native trillium species which are found in New York state.


Showy flowers. There are three large bracts arranged in a whorl about the scape. The flower has three petals in shades of red, purple, pink, white, yellow, or green. There are six stamens at the center. The fruit is fleshy and berrylike.

Blooming Season

Spring and summer.

Fun Facts

Several species contain sapogenins. They have been used traditionally as uterine stimulants, the inspiration for the common name birthwort.


They are found in part shade to full shade, in moist rich soils in woodlands. You might be lucky to find one in a steep ravine at the Leon Levy Preserve.

Similar Species

There are five different trillium which are natives to New York state.

Ecosystem Connections

  • High white-tailed deer population density has been shown to decrease or eliminate trillium in an area, particularly white trillium.
  • Trilliums use ants as agents of seed dispersal.

How You Can Help

Don’t pick Trillium. Picking Trillium is illegal in some states, including New York.

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