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14. Trollius Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 556. 1753; Gen. Pl. ed. 5, 243, 1754.

Globe-flower [German Trollblume, globe-flower]

Bruce D. Parfitt

Herbs , perennial, from short caudices. Leaves basal and cauline, proximal leaves petiolate, distal leaves sessile or nearly so; cauline leaves alternate. Leaf blade deeply palmately divided into (3-)5-7 segments, segments obovate, ± 3-lobed, margins coarsely toothed, often incised. Inflorescences terminal, 1-3[-7]-flowered open cymes or flowers solitary; peduncle 2-30 cm; bracts leaflike, not forming involucre. Flowers bisexual, radially symmetric; sepals not persistent in fruit, (4-)5-9[-30], white to orange-yellow [orange-red or purplish], ± plane [strongly concave and incurved], elliptic, orbiculate, or obovate, sometimes short-clawed, 10-30 mm; petals 5-25, distinct, yellow or orange, plane with cupped base of blade, linear-oblong [ovate], ± clawed, 2-10[-40] mm; nectary within pocketlike base of blade; stamens 20-75; filaments filiform; staminodes absent between stamens and pistils; pistils 5-28[-50], simple; ovules 4-5(-9) per pistil; style present. Fruits follicles, aggregate, sessile, oblong, sides transversely veined; beak terminal, straight, 2-4 mm. Seeds black or dark brown, faceted to angular, dull or lustrous. x =8.

Species ca. 30 (3 in the flora): north temperate and arctic regions, North America, Europe, Asia.

As many as 10 Eurasian species of Trollius have been cultivated in North America as ornamentals. Of these, only T . europaeus Linnaeus has been reported to escape. The species infrequently persists near old dwellings in New Brunswick (B.Boivin 1966; H.Hinds, pers. comm.). Trollius europaeus may be distinguished from all North American species by its globose flowers with strongly incurved sepals (in North American species flowers are shallowly bowl-shaped with sepals ± spreading).


Doroszewska, A. 1974. The genus Trollius L., a taxonomical study. Monogr. Bot. 41: 1-167, plates 1-16.

1 Petals 5–7, ± length of stamens when pollen shed, 8–12 mm; Alaska.   1 Trollius riederianus
+ Petals 10–25, 1/2–2/3 length of stamens when pollen shed, 3–6 mm; Washington to Rocky Mountains, and e United States.   (2)
2 (1) Sepals white when fresh; plants of various moist habitats (often ± acidic), w North America.   2 Trollius albiflorus
+ Sepals yellow when fresh; plants restricted to alkaline meadows and swamps (fens), e United States.   3 Trollius laxus

Lower Taxa


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