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Trout Lily

(Erythronium americanum)

Other Names:

Dog-tooth violet, Fawn Lily

Range:

Family:

Liliaceae Lily family

Identifying characteristics:

Growth Type:

A relatively small perennial herbaceous plant that gets it common name from the mottled appearance of the leaves. They resemble the spotted mottled appearance off the brook trout.

Height:

5-9 inches tall

Leaves:

A relatively small plant with one or two lanceolete basal mottled leaves 3 - 7 inches long and 1 - 2.5 inches wide.

Stem/Trunk:

The single flower appears on a single erect stem.

Root:

Bulb

Flower:

Season:

Spring

Appearance:

Each flowering plant develops a single yellow or white 6 petaled flower with conspicuous stamens. The flower petals are shaped like small daggers, or the canine teeth of a dog, hence one of the common names, Dog-toothed violet.

Seed/Fruit:

N/A

Miscellaneous characteristics:

One of the first plants to appear in early spring is the Trout Lily. The flower petals are shaped like small daggers, or the canine teeth of a dog, hence one of the common names, Dog-toothed violet.

Habitat:

Rich soils of moist woods. They typically grow in large dense communities.

Parts Used:

Leaves, Bulbs

Uses:

Wild Food Uses:

The leaves and are bulbs are fantastic. I absolutely love them as a trail nibble, or when added to salads. I especially enjoy adding this spring edible to omelets.

The following text is meant for informational purposes only. It is not meant to diagnose or treat any illness or injury. Always consult with a physician or other qualified medical care provider concerning the diagnosis and treatment of any illness or injury.

Medicinal Uses:

I have read that some Native American tribes used the leaves to prevent conception. There is also some anecdotal evidence that eating the leaves have resulted in spontaneous miscarriage. While I have included this information, I cannot verify either of these claims.

Medicinal Actions:

Contraception

This photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

This photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

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Revised: 05/11/16 Living Afield

 

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