Native to the Great Smoky Mountains and adjacent regions this classic spring ephemeral bears yellow blossoms atop a trio of leaves, often mottled with a pale shade of silvery-green. The unusual yellow flowers of the Yellow Wakerobin have a lemon oil fragrance.Trillium luteum
is easily grown in a rich, medium moisture, well-drained soil and is tolerant of heavy clay with decent topsoil. The plants are very long-lived, up to 25 years, but can take a few years to mature. The familiar three-whorled leaves may take a few years to develop, and the blooms will follow that. Spreads slowly if left undisturbed.
Yellow Wakerobin is excellent massed in a shade garden or naturalized wooded area. It mixes well with other spring wildflowers and ferns – the yellow blooms combine nicely with Virginia Bluebells, Jacob’s Ladder,
and Wild Blue Phlox
. The foliage will die back in the heat of summer. Plant them with other shade-loving perennials to share their place until they reappear the following spring.
Other names include Wood Lily, Yellow Trillium and Yellow Toadshade.
We recommend planting ephemerals in early fall while the soil is still warm, or in early spring. Spring installations will have some time to develop before summer dormancy, but will not produce flowers the first year. An early fall planting allows the roots time to establish properly before winter, and gives the plants a stronger start the following spring. This woodland species appreciates a generous application of leaf mulch in the fall.