The Painted trillium is a wildflower. The scientific name for this flower is Trillium undulatum. It is a member of the genus trillium and is found from Ontario in the north to the Carolinas in the south and from Michigan in the west to Nova Scotia in the east. They are also considered to be a member of the Lily family. It can be found in the states of Tennessee, North Carolina and Georgia. They have also been found in the western part of Wisconsin. They have been called the painted lady or striped wake robin.
The Painted trillium is a perennial that is considered herbaceous (a plant that dies down completely to the ground in winter).
The Painted trillium needs strong acidic soil that is also humus-rich (soil that is naturally composted and is rich in nutrients). They also tend to be found in the shadow of white pines, red spruce, balsam fir, and red maple. They react well to the acid these trees put into the surrounding soil. They are quite often found in bogs as well. The Painted trillium have a pretty high amount of magnesium, and calcium.They also have an unusually high amount of potassium.
The height of the painted trillium ranges from eight to eighteen inches. The flower is usually white with a deep pink base and is about two to two and one- half inches wide. They bloom from the month of April to the month of June. This plant has whorled leaves that have a strongly tapered sharp point. The flower is in three parts. Some of the flowers can be red or purple.
In Michigan Painted trillium is found in less than a dozen sites. All of these are within a thirty square mile radius of St Clair county. It is consider to be an endangered species in that state. The trillium of Michigan is the large flowered white trillium and is different from most painted trillium because its blooms are pure white.
Rapidly increasing development in the painted trillium’s natural habitat has sharply decreased its numbers. It is a showy, sought after plant by gardeners but because it has such specific needs to grow well it is tough to cultivate. There has been very little done to help the painted trillium recover in its natural habitat. This could lead to its extinction in the very near future.