Herb: Toadshade

Latin name: Trillium sessile

Family: Trilliaceae

Medicinal use of Toadshade:

A poultice of the bruised leaves and crushed roots has been applied as a treatment for boils. A decoction of the plant has been used to treat any kind of sickness.

Description of the plant:


40 cm
(1 foot)

May to


Habitat of the herb:

Humus-rich soils in woodlands and scrub.

Edible parts of Toadshade:

Leaves - raw or cooked. The young unfolding leaves are an excellent addition to the salad bowl, tasting somewhat like sunflower seeds. The leaves can also be cooked as a potherb.

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 Toadshade:

Humus-rich soils in woodlands and scrub.

Known hazards of Trillium sessile:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.