Next in this series on the coast redwood forest floor is the Pacific trillium, also called the western wakerobin, botanical name Trillium ovatum.

Pacific trillium is found in moist coniferous forests from central California up through Oregon and Washington into southern British Colombia and also inland in Alberta, Idaho, and Montana (and further?)

This trillium is a long-lived native perennial herb. It reaches maturity (and starts reproducing by seed) at about 15 years of age and can live as long as 70 years. The stem of a mature plant will grow about a foot to a foot and a half tall with three broad, pointed deep green leaves about half way up. Sitting atop a stalk that rises well above the leaves is the flower which has three sepals and three distinctive petals that start off white, move to a rose shade, and then to a beautiful lavender, maroon, or purple.

Around here, the Pacific trillium grows in the shade of the redwoods and Doug firs, in boggy areas, and along streams. It’s one of the first flowers to bloom in our forest, starting in February and continuing through June.

[Photo credit: Deanna L. Pierce, ekohner via iNaturalist, and John D. Anderson via Flickr]

closeup of pink pacific trillium flower

pacific trillium with white flower

pacific trillium with purple flower