tril·​li·​um ˈtri-lē-əm How to pronounce trillium (audio)
: any of a genus (Trillium) of herbs of the lily family with an erect stem bearing a whorl of three leaves and a solitary typically spring-blooming flower

Illustration of trillium

Illustration of trillium

Examples of trillium in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Overlapping state and national parks replete with coastal redwood and sequoia offer more than 38,000 acres of old growth that act as a haven for myriad wildflowers, including trillium, Douglas iris, leopard, Mariposa, and alpine lilies, snowflowers, and spotted coralroot. Krista Simmons and J.d. Simkins, Sunset Magazine, 8 Mar. 2024 Notable blooms include the spring ephemerals — trillium, lady slipper orchids, crested dwarf iris, columbine, bleeding heart, and violets, to name a few — and the summer arrival of red cardinal flowers, purple-fringed orchids, and black-eyed Susans. Evie Carrick, Travel + Leisure, 5 Mar. 2024 Campbell understands rural Michigan down to its trillium roots. Yvonne Zipp, The Christian Science Monitor, 1 Feb. 2024 Clad Home offers three options for filling, including trillium cushions for shoppers seeking a hypo-allergenic and animal-free choice. Megan Ulu-Lani Boyanton, Better Homes & Gardens, 14 Nov. 2023 Pennsylvania is also growing less hospitable to native plants like the snow trillium, a delicate spring flower that’s poised to lose much of its habitat under climate change. Krista Langlois, Outside Online, 10 Mar. 2023 Myth #3: Native plants look weedy Tell that to a flowering dogwood, a nice, big clump of snow trillium (Trillium nivale), or a patch of lady slipper orchid (Cypripedium acaule). Paul Cappiello, The Courier-Journal, 18 Aug. 2023 Also look for trillium, wild geranium, jack-in-the-pulpit and yellow trout lily. Chelsey Lewis, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 28 Apr. 2022 Visitors might identify a trillium flower by its three petals (which might be white, pink or purple), with the bloom jutting up above three leaves. Chelsee Lowe, Travel + Leisure, 29 Mar. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'trillium.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


New Latin, from Swedish trilling triplet; from its three leaves

First Known Use

circa 1760, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of trillium was circa 1760

Dictionary Entries Near trillium

Cite this Entry

“Trillium.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


tril·​li·​um ˈtril-ē-əm How to pronounce trillium (audio)
: any of a genus of herbs related to the lilies that have three large leaves arranged around the upright stem at the same level and a single flower with three petals at the end of the stem

called also wake-robin

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