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Yellow Trillium

Trillium luteum

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Yellow Trillium (Trillium luteum) at Green Thumb Garden Centre

Yellow Trillium flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Yellow Trillium (Trillium luteum) at Green Thumb Garden Centre

Yellow Trillium in bloom

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  18 inches

Spacing:  12 inches

Sunlight:  partial shade  full shade 

Hardiness Zone:  4a

Other Names:  Yellow Wakerobin, Wood Lily, Trinity Flower


A beautiful southeastern native perennial, presenting green leaves mottled with gray-green, appearing in triads; luminous yellow flowers also appear as a triad of petals; an outstanding woodland plant in a shady garden or border

Ornamental Features

Yellow Trillium features delicate lightly-scented yellow star-shaped flowers at the ends of the stems in mid spring. Its attractive pointy leaves remain forest green in colour with distinctive bluish-green spots throughout the season.

Landscape Attributes

Yellow Trillium is an open herbaceous perennial with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other garden plants with less refined foliage.

This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and should not require much pruning, except when necessary, such as to remove dieback. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Yellow Trillium is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • General Garden Use
  • Naturalizing And Woodland Gardens

Planting & Growing

Yellow Trillium will grow to be about 16 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 16 inches. When grown in masses or used as a bedding plant, individual plants should be spaced approximately 12 inches apart. Its foliage tends to remain dense right to the ground, not requiring facer plants in front. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years. As an herbaceous perennial, this plant will usually die back to the crown each winter, and will regrow from the base each spring. Be careful not to disturb the crown in late winter when it may not be readily seen! As this plant tends to go dormant in summer, it is best interplanted with late-season bloomers to hide the dying foliage.

This plant does best in partial shade to shade. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn't be allowed to dry out. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in rich soils. It is quite intolerant of urban pollution, therefore inner city or urban streetside plantings are best avoided, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in both summer and winter to conserve soil moisture and protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This species is native to parts of North America. It can be propagated by division.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Garden  Naturalizing 
Flowers  Foliage Color  Texture 
Ornamental Features