Erythronium americanum, the trout lily, yellow trout lily, or yellow dogtooth violet is a perennial plant that grows to be about 10 inches tall. It often features a yellow flower whose petals curl back in a nodding fashion to expose bronze-like stamens. The flower gets its name from the leaves at the base of the plant. They are a pale shade of green that feature brown spots that look like the scales of a trout fish. There are also white and purple trout lily varieties. These bulbs thrive in part shade with rich, moist soil that is on the acidic side. They grow in large colonies, and are considered a wild flower. While the plant itself may have a few leaves, only one solitary flower grows on the stalk. Trout lilies show their faces in spring.
The trout lily is a great choice for landscapes
The leaves are also lush and fill in bare areas, although it may take a few years for actual flowers to appear. After blooms do drop off, leaves should be left to enter dormancy on their own. If areas become too dense, the bulbs can be separated and replanted elsewhere. They are a great accompaniment to canopy trees, as the plants can grow underneath the shade of the larger tree. Since they stay relatively low to the ground, in woodland areas they are found on forest floors. Consider planting them in spots where grass has trouble growing or among clay pebbles and rocks. They thrive in areas where the soil does not dry out completely.
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Some varieties can even be eaten or used for medicinal purposes. They grow best in US hardiness zones 3 through 7.
Tout Lily ship bare root only.