Trillium ovatum

coast trillium

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

Outstanding Qualities

This is one of the most endearing of Pacific Northwest natives! In springtime the dainty white flower with golden yellow anthers appears, nestled in the center of three, somewhat triangular, leaves on a stalk about a foot and a half tall. As the bloom ages the petals turn pink to maroon in color extending the display well into early summer.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: perennial

Foliage Type: deciduous

Plant Height: 1 ft. 6 in. (0.46 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 1 ft. 0 in. (0.30 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 5 to 8

Flower Color: white

Sun/Light Exposure: light to dappled shade

Water Requirements: occasional to regular watering is best

Seasonal Interest: dainty white flowers in springtime

Wildlife Associations: bees, hummingbirds

Colors & Combos

Great Color Contrasts: burgundy, silver, gold

Great Color Partners: white, variegated, dark green

Culture Notes
Coast trilliums grow best in light to open or dappled shade. Ideally, this is a spot with morning sun and afternoon shade or the bright shade beneath deciduous trees or very tall conifers. In deep shade they will not spread or flower as well; in hot afternoon sun their foliage burns. All trilliums require fertile, humus-rich, well-drained soil. In the right conditions, such as those sites with more shade, this trillium is fairly drought tolerant, but it will do better with regular additional water during summer dry spells. Gardening with trilliums teaches the rewards of patience: young plants can take three to five years to bloom and another five to eight years to develop into a nice clump. Just remember that the wait is well worthwhile with these garden gems. Do not remove old flowers but let the seeds develop, ants will disperse them around your garden to start new clumps. Trilliums are long-lived garden perennials, taking several years to form a significant clump. Coast trillium grows 18 to 20 inches tall and over a ten-year period, can become a patch up to 15 inches in width. Trilliums are poor competitors, so be careful not to plant aggressive plants nearby.