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HomeSurvivalFoodEdible Plants

Trout Lily

(Erythronium americanum)

 
Other common names: Dogtooth Violet, Yellow Adder's Tongue, Adder's Tongue

Family: Lily family -- Liliaceae

Distinctive features: The bright yellow flowers are among the first to bloom in the spring. Mottled small pointy leaves.

Similar species:

  • White Trout Lily

Height: about 3-8"

Flowers: Solitary yellow nodding flowers. Very photogenic.

Leaves: one or two per plant. Stiff, upright, 3-8" long. Mottled like a trout fish skin (hence the name).

Stem: None, except for the flower.

Habitat: Forests.

Longevity:  Perennial. Disappears by early summer, to reappear the next spring.

Comments: Extremely photogenic flowers dapple the early spring woods with their beautiful yellow. The corms (tubers) are edible raw.

The information on this page has been taken from my Ontario Wildflowers website.

The flowers.

Leaves are also visible here.

 

 

 

It is easy to see why I call this a highly photogenic flower!

I go kinda nuts taking photos of this plant every spring, even though I already have plenty of photos of it!

 

Three slightly different flowers - note how the petals are curled right back. This photo certainly shows why this plant is a member of the lily family!

 

Flower and leaves.

 

Unopened flower.

 

Leaves. Someone ate the flower.

Note how mottled they are.

 

In some places Trout Lilies grow very dense, just like a ground cover. They are all individual plants, however.

 

A small grouping of them.

 

Maturing seed pods. By this time, the leaves have already started to die off.

 

The small bulb at the bottom of the plant is edible raw. It has a very fresh taste, sort of like cucumber.

 

Another one. Peel away the sheath, roots, and dirt, and pop it in your mouth.

There's not a lot there, but they are nice and fresh tasting.

As usual, please exercise careful judgment when collecting wild plants for food. Wild plants everywhere are under a lot of stress due to habitat loss. Best to leave them for others (birds, animals, insects, etc, as well as humans) to enjoy!