Species Profile

Drooping Trillium

Scientific Name: Trillium flexipes
Taxonomy Group: Vascular Plants
Range: Ontario
Last COSEWIC Assessment: April 2009
Last COSEWIC Designation: Endangered
SARA Status: Schedule 1, Endangered


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Quick Links: | Photo | Description | Distribution and Population | Habitat | Biology | Threats | Protection | Recovery Initiatives | Recovery Team | National Recovery Program | Documents

Image of Drooping Trillium

Drooping Trillium Photo 1

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Description

Drooping Trillium (Trillium flexipes) is a member of the Liliaceae, the lily family. No varieties or subspecies have been formally recognized, but one of the many forms has been named, forma walpolei. This reddish or maroon form is likely a hybrid with Red Trillium (Trillium erectum). Drooping Trillium can usually be differentiated from other co–occurring Trillium species by the absence or near absence of leaf stalks and slightly drooping flowers with large, spreading, white petals and a white, ovoid ovary with prominent stigmas. (Updated 2017/06/05)

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Distribution and Population

The historic range of Drooping Trillium includes Ontario and 17 states in the north–central and eastern US. The global maximum extent of occurrence encompasses approximately 850,000 km2 but its distribution is discontinuous in much of its range. In Canada, it was historically known from seven sites in Ontario within the Carolinian zone. Populations at five of these sites are now believed to be extirpated. The only confirmed extant sites in Canada are along the Sydenham River at Strathroy and along the Thames River in Dunwich Township near Dutton. Its present Extent of Occurrence in Canada is about 7 km2. Its Index of Area of Occupancy based on a 2x2 km grid is 8 km2; the actual area of habitat occupied is 0.08 km2 or 8 ha. (Updated 2017/06/05)

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Habitat

Throughout its range, Drooping Trillium is typically found in hardwood forests on mesic, circumneutral soils. Canadian populations are associated with watercourses, usually on better drained microsites on floodplain terraces or adjacent slopes with sandy loam soils. It may benefit from periodic disturbance caused by flooding and the warmer than average microsites along river valleys. (Updated 2017/06/05)

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Biology

Drooping Trillium is an herbaceous plant that typically flowers in May and June at Canadian sites. It is a rhizomatous perennial that takes on average 10 years to reach reproductive maturity. Each individual plant has one to several flowering stems. Reproduction is primarily sexual with ants playing a role in short–distance dispersal of seeds. Seeds have double dormancy, requiring two seasons of cold to germinate. Deer may also disperse seeds but can have a negative impact from herbivory. (Updated 2017/06/05)

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Threats

Drooping Trillium is at the northern limit of its range in Canada and has restricted habitat preferences. The main historic and current threats to Canadian populations are habitat loss and degradation from urban and agricultural development. Trampling from increasing and incompatible recreational trail use threatens the Strathroy population. Invasive species such as Garlic Mustard and herbivory by White–tailed Deer are also threats. (Updated 2017/06/05)

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Protection

Federal Protection

The Drooping Trillium is protected under the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA). More information about SARA, including how it protects individual species, is available in the Species at Risk Act: A Guide.

Provincial and Territorial Protection

To know if this species is protected by provincial or territorial laws, consult the provinces' and territories' websites.

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Recovery Initiatives

Status of Recovery Planning

Recovery Strategies :

Name Recovery Strategy for the Drooping Trillium (Trillium flexipes) in Canada
Status Final posting on SAR registry

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Recovery Team

Carolinian Woodland Plants Recovery Team

  • Jarmo Jalava - Chair/Contact - Other
    Phone: 705-760-2823  Send Email

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Documents

PLEASE NOTE: Not all COSEWIC reports are currently available on the SARA Public Registry. Most of the reports not yet available are status reports for species assessed by COSEWIC prior to May 2002. Other COSEWIC reports not yet available may include those species assessed as Extinct, Data Deficient or Not at Risk. In the meantime, they are available on request from the COSEWIC Secretariat.

6 record(s) found.

COSEWIC Status Reports

  • COSEWIC Assessment and Update Status Report on the Drooping Trillium Trillium flexipes in Canada (2009)

    Drooping Trillium (Trillium flexipes) is a member of the Liliaceae, the lily family. No varieties or subspecies have been formally recognized, but one of the many forms has been named, forma walpolei. This reddish or maroon form is likely a hybrid with Red Trillium (Trillium erectum). Drooping Trillium can usually be differentiated from other co-occurring Trillium species by the absence or near absence of leaf stalks and slightly drooping flowers with large, spreading, white petals and a white, ovoid ovary with prominent stigmas.

COSEWIC Assessments

  • COSEWIC Assessment - Drooping Trillium (2009)

    Drooping Trillium (Trillium flexipes) is a member of the Liliaceae, the lily family. No varieties or subspecies have been formally recognized, but one of the many forms has been named, forma walpolei. This reddish or maroon form is likely a hybrid with Red Trillium (Trillium erectum). Drooping Trillium can usually be differentiated from other co-occurring Trillium species by the absence or near absence of leaf stalks and slightly drooping flowers with large, spreading, white petals and a white, ovoid ovary with prominent stigmas.

Response Statements

  • Response Statement - Drooping Trillium (2009)

    A showy perennial species currently present at only two small locations in southern Ontario. It has not been found at five additional sites where it was documented historically. This riparian species is at on-going risk of habitat degradation from the invasion of exotic plants. It is also at risk from recreational activities and the effects of stochastic events due to its small population size.

Recovery Strategies

  • Recovery Strategy for the Drooping Trillium (Trillium flexipes) in Canada (2016)

    The Minister of the Environment is the competent minister for the recovery of the Drooping Trillium and has prepared the federal component of this recovery strategy (Part 1), as per section 37 of SARA. SARA section 44 allows the Minister to adopt all or part of an existing plan for the species if it meets the requirements under SARA for content (sub-sections 41(1) or (2)). The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (now the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry) led the development of the attached recovery strategy for the Drooping Trillium (Part 2) in cooperation with Environment Canada.

COSEWIC Annual Reports

  • COSEWIC Annual Report - 2009 (2009)

    2009 Annual Report to the The Minister of the Environment and the Canadian Endangered Species Conservation Council (CESCC) from the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada.

Recovery Document Posting Plans

  • Environment and Climate Change Canada's Three-Year Recovery Document Posting Plan (2016)

    Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Three-Year Recovery Document Posting Plan identifies the species for which recovery documents will be posted each fiscal year starting in 2014-2015. Posting this three year plan on the Species at Risk Public Registry is intended to provide transparency to partners, stakeholders, and the public about Environment and Climate Change Canada’s plan to develop and post these proposed recovery strategies and management plans. However, both the number of documents and the particular species that are posted in a given year may change slightly due to a variety of circumstances. Last update March 31, 2017