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by common name

Trout Lily - Adder's Tongue

Trout Lily Flower

Erythronium americanum

The flower photos were taken on April 25, 2009 in the Town of Canton. NY. (my garden)

An early spring native wildflower that can be found in most woodland settings in St. Lawrence County. I did nothing but let the natives move into my shady garden area. Note the mottled leaves and nodding flower with the spots near the flower's center.

Trout Lily is a ephemeral woodland plant that goes dormant by summer. It will tolerate full sun and shade but prefers something in between. Soil should remain moist but will survive dry conditions while dormant. (that's why shade is good) Trout Lily will not tolerate wet feet especially over the winter. A bit of spring wetness is OK as long as the area drys fairly quickly.

If you can find a place to dig some they do transplant nicely. Just make sure you get a good sized clump of soil without disturbing the roots and it will never know it was moved. It will multiply and spread on it's own if you've placed it in a spot of it's liking.

The flower reminds me of another woodland native - Canada Lily (Lilium canadense). The nodding form is similar and so are the spots. In some cases the normally orange Canada Lily will be yellow. But there is no comparision when it comes to size, both the plant and flower of the Canada Lily are far far larger.


Soil Type - Sandy loam, well drained, humus rich
Soil ph - Neutral
Water - Moist - Dry
Light - Partial shade


Height - 4 - 10 inch
Time of bloom - April
Flower colors - Yellow
Transplants - Well

Trout Lily
Trout Lily