Photo of a Trillium used with permission from Thomas G. Barnes @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database at

Fabulous Phylogeny

Trillium grandiflorum is from the genus Trillium.  Many other flower species are in the same genus. 

The phylogenetic tree below is based off of DNA sequence similarities.  Some of the close relatives of T. grandiflorum are described to the right of the tree.

T. Cernum is commonly called the nodding trillium. It has white flowers that are not erect and open towards the substrate.

T. erectum is commonly called the wake robin or stinking Benjamin. It has a deep red or purple flower that prefers acidic soil.

T. cuneatum is commonly called the purple toad shade or whippoorwill flower.  It is a much smaller, sessile flower that is dark red to purple and commonly found beneath beech trees.

T. luteum is commonly called the yellow trillium or yellow toad shade.  It is very similar to T. cuneatum with the only difference being it's yellow color.

Below is a phylogenetic tree from Domain to Genus of the Trillium. It shows the relationship between the Trillium and other members of the domain Eukarea.    

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