Trout Lily ( Erythronium americanum)

Trout_Lily 1

Trout Lily is an early spring perennial that can grow to six inches tall and will have yellow blooms during late March or early April.  It prefers moist acidic soils with lots of humus in part shade to full shade.   The Trout Lily in our personal garden started blooming two weeks ago and  it is in dapple shade.    Sometimes you have to gently move the leaf litter away to see these beautiful blooms.    It is one of our favorite early perennial and I especially enjoy the muted colors on the leaves-Nature’s natural camoflague.  Although we did rescue these Trout Lilies it is not recommended because generally they do not transplant easily.    You will find them along wooded slopes and bluffs and close to streams.   The common name of “Adder’s Tongue” is in reference to the tongue like shape of the flower shoot as it rises in the spring.   Also the resemblance of the flower to the open mouth of the Adder snake.

Trout Lily 2

The Cherokee would make a tea which was used to break a fever.   They would crush the leaves and pour the juice over skin sores.  A cold infusion was used to treat fainting.  The Cherokee would chew the root and spit it in the river to attract fish.


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