Snow Trillium Trillium nivale RiddellEndangered (MD)  -  S1 (Highly state rare)  -  Vulnerable    Synonyms: Dwarf White Trillium.
Kingdom Plantae   >   Division Tracheophyta   >   Class Magnoliopsida   >   Order Liliales   >   Family Melanthiaceae   >   Genus Trillium   


Snow Trillium is a diminutive, long-lived, woodland perennial that occurs mainly in the Midwest, with outlier populations in other states, including Maryland. Throughout its range, Snow Trillium is uncommon and can be very rare. It blooms in late winter or early spring, sometimes while snow is still on the ground. In Maryland, Snow Trillium is known only from the western part of the state.


Like all Trillium species, Snow Trillium has rhizomes and produces no true leaves or above-ground stems. The flowers occur singly, off the rhizome. The leaflike structures that subtend the flower are actually bracts. These are photosynthetic and are commonly referred to as leaves.

Where to find:

Snow Trillium is not found in places that have leaf litter or much plant competition.


The seeds of Snow Trillium are dispersed by ants, as are all Trillium species.

There are 35 records in the project database.

View at Maryland Plant Atlas

Search Flora of North America

Search Mid-Atlantic Herbaria Consortium

Search Norton-Brown Herbarium

View taxon at iNaturalist

View taxon at NatureServe

Search Google Images

Search MBP Facebook posts (beta | requires login)

[View seasonality details]
Snow Trillium blooming in Washington Co., Maryland (3/29/2011). Photo by Wayne Longbottom. (MBP list)

A Snow Trillium in Washington Co., Maryland (4/16/2019). Photo by Kimberly Booth. (MBP list)

Snow Trillium in Washington Co., Maryland (3/21/2020). Photo by Jim Stasz. (MBP list)

View All Images

Use of images featured on Maryland Biodiversity Project is only permitted with express permission of the photographer.