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Wake Robin · Trillium ovatum

Trillium ovatum
Trillium ovatum ©Ellen Mast

Description: A beloved wildflower of the northwest, with its whorl of three leaves topped by a white flower that fades to deep rose or purple. Oregon's native Easter lily, it blooms in early spring, March-June. Trillium ovatum grows in moist woods from British Columbia to California, east to Alberta and south to Colorado. It is easy to establish in gardens if given shade and a rich woodsy soil. A no-care beauty, it blooms when spring rains provide all the water it needs! Shade, low to no summer water. Also easy to grow from seed, though the time from seed to flower is long (3-5 years).

Lewis and Clark collected Trillium ovatum on April 10, 1806, near the present-day Bonneville Dam. On that day Lewis wrote "we drew them [canoes] up the rapid by a cord about a quarter of a mile ... in passing the river which is here about 400 yds. wide the rapidity of the currant was such that it boar us down a considerable distance notwithstanding we empolyed five oars."