Classif. Nat. Ord. of Asparagoides. Hexandria trigynia L.
Genus TRILLIUM. Perigone double marcescent, each 3 parted, exterior caliciform, interior corolliform. Six stamina inserted at the base of the segments, nearly equal, anthers linear. Pistil oval, 3 linear stigmas, (seldom a style.) Berry 3 celled polysperm. Constant habit of the whole genus. Root perennial. Stem terete, smooth, erect, with 3 verticillate leaves and one terminal flower.
Sp. Trillium latifolium. See sp. 25.
History. This beautiful natural genus is peculiar to North America; the nearest genera are the European Paris, differing merely by perigone 8 parted, 8 stamens, 4 stigmas, and 4 leaves. 2. The American Medeola, which has a simple caducous 6 parted perigone, whorl of several leaves, flowers umbellate. Linnaeus had only 3 species of Trillium. Tr. sessile, Tr. erectum, and Tr. cernuum. Michaux, Pursh, Nuttal, Elliot, Beck, &c. have increased them to about 15; but having paid particular attention to this interesting genus, I have ascertained as many as 33 species, with a multitude of varieties; all bear the above vulgar names, and are ornamental, but scentless. Many are scarce species, chiefly found in the Alleghany, Cumberland, Cherokee or Apalachian mountains, the western glades, &c. They are all vernal, blooming in the spring. I propose to give here the Prodromus of their monography. I divide the genus into 3 subgenera.
1. Sessilium. Petals erect, anthers adnate, filaments flat, stigmas sessile. Flowers sessile, erect, (the Tr. sessile of L.
2. Anthopium. Petals spreading, anthers terminal, filaments not flat, stigmas sessile. Flowers pedunculate, erect or drooping.
3. Deloslyliam. A style, 3 stigmas. Flower pedunculate.
1. S. G. Sessilium.
1. Sp. Trilium longiflorum. Raf. Leaves sessile, spreading, ovate acute, 5 nerved: petals lanceolate, twice as long as the calyx, sessile, acute and purple. The Tr. sessile of modern authors, which name is wrong and illusive. Found from Lake Ontario to Carolina. Root thick premose, and berry purple, as in most all the species; many varieties: 1. Maculatum. 2. Atropurpureum. 3. Parvifolium. 4. Pumilum. 5. Rubricaule. 6. Undulaltum. 7. Latifolium.
2. Tr. rotundifolium. Raf. Leaves spreading, sessile, rounded ovate, obtusely acuminate, 5 nerved: calyx erect lanceolate, petals rather longer lanceolate, obtuse, undulate, dark purple, sessile; stamens short. From Lake Erie to Tennessee. Var. 1. Flexicaule. 2. Rubricaule. 3. Maculatum. 4. Orbiculatum. 5. Pallidum. 6. Undulatum.
3. Tr. isanthum, Raf. Leaves drooping sessile, oval elliptic, with an obtuse point, 5 nerved. Calyx and petals equal, erect, oblong acute; stamens nearly as long. In Ohio, Kentucky, Arkansas. Petals pale purple. Var. 1. Albiflorum. 2. Parviflorum.
4. Tr. tinctorium. Raf. Root concatenate, red inside: leaves drooping sessile, oval lanceolate, acute trinerve: calyx and petals equal erect, oval lanceolate acute. In the islands of the Missouri river. Is it a variety of Tr. isanthum?
5. Tr. viride. Beck. Leaves ovate acute, maculate; Calyx ovate lanceolate erect obtuse, petals green, rather longer, spatuiate and thick: stamens snort. In Missouri.
6. Tr. recurvatum. Beck. Leaves subpetiolate, ovate lanceolate acute trinerve. Calyx recurved lanceolate acute, petals equal to it, ovate lanceolate, purple: stamens short. From Kentucky to Missouri. Variety 1. Sessilifolium. 2. Obovatum. 3. Maculatum. 4. Undulatum.
7. Tr. angustifolium. Raf. Stem slender, leaves lanceolate acuminate, trinerve, undulate, often erect: calyx erect linear lanceolate acute, petals equal, white, lanceolate obtuse: stamens short. In Kentucky, &c. Variety 1. Gracile. 2. Stenopetalum. 3. Maculatum. A. Roseum.
8. Tr. membranaceum. Raf. Stem slender, leaves sessile, thin, and membranaceous, ovate elliptic, obtuse trinerve: calyx erect, ovate lanceolate, obtuse, petals pale, subequal, cuneate acuminate. Glades of Kentucky, Illinois, and Missouri. Flower small, petals of a dirty pale purple. Var. 1. Ellipticum. 2. Obovatum. 3. Parvifolium.
9. Tr. unguiculatum. Raf. Leaves petiolate, oval, both ends acute, trinerve: calyx reflexed, lanceolate obtuse: petals subequal to it, unguiculate, oval, oblong, obtuse, and purple. In the glades of Indiana, west Kentucky, &c. Var. 1. Crassicaule. 2. Undulatum. 3. Maculatum.
10. Tr. petiolatum. Pursh. Leaves long petiolate oval lanceolate acute trinerve: calyx erect, petals lanceolate linear acute, longer than the calyx. In the mountains Taconick, Alleghany, &c.
2. S. G. Anthopium.
11. Tr. acuminatum. Raf. 1807. Leaves sessile, ovate acuminate, undulate, trinerve; peduncle erect, equal to the leaves, calyx and petals subequal lanceolate acuminate. In the mountains Alleghany. Petals red, not reflexed.
12. Tr. pictum. Pursh. (Tr. erythrocarpum. Michaux.) Leaves oval acuminate, base rounded, subpetiolate, five nerved, peduncle nearly erect, shorter than the leaves, calyx lanceolate acute, petals recurved, oval lanceolate acute, twice as long as the calyx. From Canada to Carolina, petals white, with purple veins, berries bright red. Var. 1. Undulatum. 2. Roseum.
13. Tr. amblopsis. Raf. Leaves petiolate, ovate, with a long obtuse acumen, trinerve: peduncle erect, shorter than the leaves: calyx and petals subequal, narrow lanceolate, obtuse. In the mountains Alleghany, &c. Petals white. Var. 1. Longifolium. 2. Incarnatum. 3. Undulatum. 4. Stenopetalum. 5. Angustifolium. 6. Pumilum. 7. Cuneatum. Petals cuneiform.
14. Tr. Pusillum. Michaux. Leaves sessile, oval oblong, obtuse, trinerve: peduncle erect and short, calyx oval lanceolate obtuse, petals subequal, undulate, cuneate obtuse. From Pennsylvania to Arkansas, in glades, stem flexuose, purple, 3 or 4 inches high, leaves small, petals of a pale flesh colour.
15. Tr. nutans. Raf. (Tr. erectum of many botanists.) Leaves subsessile, subrhomboidal, very wide, base acute, end acuminate, trinerve: peduncle nearly as long, inclined, flower nodding, calyx and petals subequal, oval lanceolate acute. From Canada to Carolina, large plant, leaves and flowers. Petals red or white. Var. 1. Atropurpureum. 2. Bicolor, flower smaller, white, pistil red. 3. Obovatum. 4. Undulatum. 5. Rhomboideum. 6. Flexuosum. 7. Album.
16. Tr. flavum. Raf. Leaves sessile, rhomboidal acuminate, trinerve: peduncle as long, erect, flower nodding: calyx narrow lanceolate, petals longer lanceolate, yellow, acute. In the mountains from New York to Virginia, rare.
17. Tr. pendulum. Wildenow. Leaves sessile, rhomboidal acuminate, base acute, trinerve: peduncle inclined, flower drooping; calyx and petals subequal, oval acuminate, petals white, with red veins. In the mountains Catskill, Alleghany, &c.
18. Tr. undulatum. Raf. 1807. W. and Elliot. Leaves sessile, ovate acuminate, undulate, trinerve: peduncle erect, calyx lanceolate, petals much longer, undulate, oblong, obtuse, dark purple. Mountains Alleghany in Pennsylvania, &c.
19. Tr. brevipetalum. Raf. Leaves sessile, ovate rhomboidal acuminate, base acute, trinerve: peduncle erect, elongated, calyx lanceolate acute; petals shorter, ovate, undulate, acute, white. Near the lakes Ontario and Erie. Var. 1. Latifolium. 2. Roseum.
20. Tr. ovatum. Pursh. Leaves sessile, ovate, gradually acute, trinerve: peduncle erect, calyx linear, petals longer and larger, oblong lanceolate acute, and purple. Southern States.
21. Tr. obovatum. Pursh. Leaves sessile, ovate rhomboidal, acuminate: peduncle erect, calyx oval lanceolate, petals equal obovate obtuse flat, flesh colored. From Canada to Ohio.
22. Tr. grandiflorum. Salisbury.(Tr. rhomboidum Mx.) Leaves sessile, ovate rhomboidal, acuminate, base acute, 5 nerved, reticulate: peduncle inclined, elongated, calyx ovate, lanceolate acute, petals longer, obovate acute, white. From lake Ontario to Virginia and Kentucky. Petals thin, reticulate, forming a campanulate flower, base connivent. Var. 1. Roseum. 2. Elatior. 3. Rhomboideum. 4. Pumilum. 5. Parviflorum. 6. Macropium. 7. Obovatum. 8. Longifolium. Often called Ground Lily, as well as the following species.
23. Tr. lirioides. Raf. Leaves shortly petiolate, ovate acumulate, base rounded, trinerve and reticulate: peduncle short and erect, calyx oval lanceolate obtuse; petals larger, oblong cuneate obtuse, white. Near lake Erie, in the glades of Ohio, Illinois, &c. Commonly smaller than the last, flower also nearly campanulate. Var. 1. Parviflorum. 2. Pumilum. 3. Roseum. 4. Crassicaule. 5. Longifolium. 6. Maculatum. 7. Undulatum.
24. Tr. obcordatum. Raf. Stem short and thick, leaves sessile obcordate, trinerve reticulate; peduncle as long, inclined, calyx lanceolate obtuse, petals equal in length, obovate obtuse, white. In the mountains Alleghany; is it a variety of Tr. grandiflorum? only 4 inches high.
25. Tr. latifolium. Raf. (figured here.) Leaves subsessile, very broad, dilatate, wider than long, subrhomboidal, undulate, both ends shortly acuminate, many nerved and reticulate; peduncle reflexed and short, calyx and petals subequal, oval acuminate reflexed and revolute; stamens shorter than the pistil. In Kentucky; stem thick, 18 inches high, petals dark purple. This, and all the next species, belong the Tr. cernuum of Linnaeus, while the foregoing 14 species answer to his Tr. erectum.
26. Tr. spatulatum. Raf. (Tr. purpureum. Kin. and Elliot.) Leaves sessile, spatulate ovate acuminate, trinerve reticulate: peduncle drooping, petals dark purple, longer than the calyx, ovate lanceolate. In the mountains Alleghany.
27. Tr. nervosum. Elliot. Leaves sessile, ovate lanceolate, both ends acute, membranaceous, reticulated: peduncle recurved, petals oblong lanceolate, larger than the calyx, rose colored. In Carolina and Georgia.
28. Tr. Catesbei. Elliot. Leaves sessile, oval and obovate, both ends acuminate; peduncle recurved, petals lanceolate, larger than the calyx, rose colored. In Carolina, figured by Catesby I. fig. 45, perhaps the type of Tr. cernuum of Linnreus. Var. 1. Obovatum. 2. Incarnatum.
29. Tr. hamosum. Raf. Leaves sessile, rhomboidal rounded, base acute, end sharply acuminate, membranaceous, trinerve; peduncle very short, reflexed, crooked like a hook, calyx and petals oblong lanceolate obtuse, petals larger and white. In the Pocono mountains of Pennsvlvania; root fasciculate, fibrose, stem 6 inches only, leaves and flowers small, discovered by Mr. Steinhauer.
30. Tr. medium. Raf. (Tr. cernuum of our modern botanists.) Leaves shortly petiolate, broadly rhomboidal, both ends abruptly acuminate, 5 nerved, reticulate; peduncle recurved short, calyx and petals equal, ovate lanceolate acuminate, flat white. From New England to Virginia. Var. 1. Gracile. 2. Pudicum. 3. Undulatum. 4. Grandiflorum.
31. Tr. glaucum. Raf. Leaves sessile, broad deltoid, both ends acute, glaucous beneath, 5 nerved and reticulate: peduncle reflexed, calyx and petals subequal, oval obtuse, calyx erect, petals reflexed back, and white. In Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia, Maryland. Virginia, &c. This is the Tr. cernuum of W. Barton, Fl. Am. fig. 40.
32. Tr. divaricatum. Raf. Leaves sessile, obovate acuminate: peduncle divergent, horizontal, petals lanceolate acute, longer than the calyx, flat and purple. In the Alleghany and Cumberland mountains, six inches high.
3. S. G. Delostylium.
33. Tr. stylosum. Nuttal. Leaves with short petioles, oval lanceolate, acute at both ends; peduncle recurved, very short, petals oblong obtuse, undulate, larger than the calyx, a style as long as the stigmas. In the Southern States. Stem a foot high or less, slender, petals rose colored. This is probably the Tr. cernuum of Michaux.
Properties. I have the pleasure to introduce this fine genus into Materia Medica. It has been neglected by all our writers, although well known to our herbalists. Schoepf merely says that the Indians consider the Tr. cernuum as poisonous, which is not true: and that the acid berries of Tr. sessile stain of a red color, or dye blue with alum. A popular remedy in the Northern States, and used also by the Shakers. The roots are the officinal parts; almost all the species may be used indifferently, although the Indians have a notion that those with red blossoms (which they call male) are best, and those with white blossoms (called female) are best for women's complaints. The species most commonly used, because most common, are the Tr. nutans, Tr. pictum, Tr. grandiflorum, Tr. medium, Tr. longiflorum, Tr. rotundifolium, &c. They are all astringent, restringent, pectoral, tonic, antiseptic, alterative &c. Their roots are commonly oblong or terete, tuberose, brown outside, white inside, from 1 to 5 inches long, with a few branches or fibres; they have a faint smell, somewhat like cedar, and a peculiar aromatic taste, somewhat like copaivi. Being chewed, they produce salivation and tears, with heat in the throat, and next a sensation of coolness over the whole system. These are indications of active properties. They have not yet been analyzed. They are employed internally in hematuria or bloody urine, uterine hemorrhage, immoderate menstrual discharge, blood spitting, hectic fever, asthma, catarrhal cough, profluvia, &c. either in powder, dose a tea spoonful, or in infusion. Externally, they are very beneficial in tumors, indolent and putrid ulcers, carbuncles, and mortification, in a poultice by itself or still better united with Sanguinaria. As an astringent and restringent, they are milder or weaker than Geranium and Erigeron, but not so heating. As a tonic they appear very beneficial, nay, a certain cure, with bloodroot, for inflamed carbuncles and ulcers, after a purge; it is said that they obviate or prevent gangrene and the need of cutting off mortified limbs. Even the leaves are useful applied to tumors. In female complaints, such as leucorrhea, menorrhea, and after parturition, they act as good restringents; the Indians value them much as such, both in Canada and Missouri. They say in Canada that the roots chewed, will cure instantly the bite of rattle-snakes, both in men and cattle. Mr. Hawkins saw an Indian make the experiment for a gill of rum: how it acts was not stated. The Indians of Missouri call them Mochar Newachar, meaning heat and cold: it is their palliative for consumption. The sessile species are called Jewsharp in Kentucky, and used for sores and ulcers. The Tr. tinctorium is one of the red paints of the Western Indians; the roots stain the hands, and dye red with alum.
N. B. Sp. omitted among the Sessilium.
34. Tr. maculatum. Raf. (Tr. sessile, Elliot.) Stem spotted, leaves sessile ovate acute, trinerve, spotted: calyx erect oblong, petals spatulate, twice as long, dark purple. In Carolina, &c.
Medical Flora, or Manual of the Medical Botany of the United States of North America, Vol. 2, 1830, was written by C. S. Rafinesque.