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Home arrow The Daily Dirt arrow Monday Melange: Trout Lily
Monday Melange: Trout Lily Print E-mail
Written by Heleigh Bostwick    Monday, 27 February 2012
Trout Lily

The trout lily (Erythronium americanum) is a lovely spring wildflower native to the woodlands and stream banks of the eastern half of North America. Its range extending from the northern reaches of Quebec Province south to Georgia and Louisiana, it is a member of the Lily plant family (Lilaceae) and is hardy between USDA Zones 3 and 8. Trout lily also goes by the name of yellow dogtooth violet, yellow adder’s tongue. The name trout lily refers to the mottled leaves as well as the appearance of flowers during trout season.

Blooming in early to late spring, typically from March to May, trout lily has a single bright yellow lily-like flower. The prominent anthers are yellow to dark reddish-brown in color as shown in the picture above. The glossy, elliptical-shaped leaves are dark green with dark reddish-purple and brown mottles Trout lily is a low growing perennial, typically no more than 6 inches tall and prefers part to full shade and moist acidic soil.

Trout lily is a bulb and after blooming, it goes dormant. It naturalizes easily, making a pretty groundcover in spring if you are in a woodland setting or have a small grove of trees in your yard. It also looks nice along pond and stream banks and in rock gardens. Trout lily is listed as threatened in Iowa.

Photo source: David Smith, www.ubcbotanicalgarden.org