Herb: White Trillium

Latin name: Trillium grandiflorum

Synonyms: Trillium rhomboideum grandiflorum

Family: Trilliaceae

Medicinal use of White Trillium:

The root is diuretic. The raw root is grated and applied as a poultice to the eye in order to reduce swelling. The raw root s also used as a poultice on aching rheumatic joints. A decoction of the root bark can be used as drops in treating a sore ear. The grated root is steeped in water and drunk as a tea for the treatment of cramps. The grated root is simmered in water and drunk for the treatment of irregular menses.

Description of the plant:


40 cm
(1 foot)

to June

Habitat of the herb:

Rich woods and thickets, usually on limestone.

Edible parts of White Trillium:

Young leaves - cooked and used like spinach. A famine food, it is only used when all else fails.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - best sown in a shaded cold frame as soon as it is ripe. Stored seed should be sown in late winter or early spring. Seed usually germinates within 1 - 3 months at 15C. Another report says that seeds produce a root after the first cold stratification but no shoot is produced until after a second winter, whilst yet another report says that the seed can take 3 years to germinate. The seedlings are prone to damp off and must therefore be watered with care and given plenty of fresh air. The young plants need to be overwintered in a cold frame for the first year and can then be planted out in late spring. It is very important that the pots become neither too dry nor too wet. Division with care when the plants die down after flowering. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is best to pot up smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse or cold frame until they are growing away well. Plant them out in the following spring.

Cultivation of White Trillium:

Rich woods and thickets, usually on limestone.

Known hazards of Trillium grandiflorum:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.