Sweet Betsy Trillium

Sweet Betsy Trillium

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Sweet Betsy Trillium-Trillium cuneatum Hardy Planting Zones- 5-8 Sun or Shade – Full to Partial Shade Mature Height - 12-18" Mature Width- 6-12" Bloom Season – Spring (April-May) Gardener Status- Beginner

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Sweet Betsy Trillium - Trillium Cuneatum

Sweet Betsy Trillium or Wood Lily is an herbaceous perennial, native to the Southeastern United States. This perennial is the largest of the sessile trilliums, featuring three leaves ending in a circular arrangement, rising to 12” to 18” in the spring. It has grey-green mottled leaves 3” to 7” in length, and from the center, a three-petaled maroon flower, but only does during late March-early May. Sometimes flower color varies, being maroon to yellowish brown, or a reddish green. The flower gives off a faint scent some say is the banana, which is the reason for the name Sweet Betsy. Once the flower is gone, it is replaced by berry-like seeds. The plants prefer a deep organic soil that is well drained.  Leaf mulch applied to plant is preferred, and done in the fall. The plant spreads gradually, and forms clumps, if undisturbed. Plants are typically found in wood areas in states of Mississippi, Alabama, Kentucky, and North Carolina in the south, and Georgia.

Sweet Betsy Trillium are best suited to woodland gardens, shady rock gardens, and native plant gardens;

however, these plants do not transplant well. Trillium Cuneatum does not require a lot of maintenance. Sweet Betsy is a curious, exciting and beautiful shrub. Also known as Carolina Allspice, Spicebush and Sweetshrub, its oval-shaped leaves carry a dark reddish-brown to maroon colored flower that blooms in the springtime. It can grow 6 to 9 feet high and produces a mass amount of small, spider-like flowers. These shrubs tend to spread widely by growing new shoots, called suckers. These suckers can be cultivated and transplanted to other areas of your landscape. What makes this plant interesting is that, depending on the individual plant, the blooms can be highly aromatic – something close to strawberries, bananas or pineapples - to having no smell at all. 


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Sweet Betsy Trillium

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