Trout-lily, Fawn-lily or Dog's Tooth Violet
Erythronium americanum)
Erythronium americanum is a really
neat little plant that comes up in
early March and is gone by the first
of June.  It almost always grows
near a water source in this part of
Tennessee, usually on a steep
hillside.   It is one of my favorite
spring wildflowers, because it
comes up so early.  These pictures
were taken behind my house in the
ravine the creek runs through on its
way to Center Hill Lake.  Trout
lilies are small, rarely taller than 5",
with heavily mottled leaves, hence
the names trout and fawn lily.  
They are bright yellow with deep
orange anthers.  They grow from a
small white bulb that actually digs
itself deeper into the rich soil they
grow in.
Trout lilies only bloom on
sunny days and the
flowers follow the
sunlight. The petals curve
back when fully
opened.         Once
pollinated, the seed pod
bends to the ground and
releases its seed on the
leaf litter.  The seed I
raised from wild
populations took 4 years
to bloom, but has
bloomed every year for
the last 10 years and has
mutiplied every year until
it is a patch about 2 feet
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@ copyright Brad Walker, Dec. 2, 2007
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I have found trout lilies over
this entire section of
Tennessee, it is very plentiful,
but don't be tempted to dig it
up.  The bulbs are usually six
to 10 inches in the ground, in
very rocky soil on steep
hillsides and it takes years for
them to bloom.  You can now
find them at several reputable
 I have also found a large
patch of the White Trout Lily
Erythronium albidum) in only
one spot locally.  It is on
private property now and I
can't get permission to take a
photo of them.