Trout Lily

16 May

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I’m going to add a new page tonight on wild flowers and first up on board will be one that is quite edible from bulb to pod which is the Trout Lily —  Erythronium americanum

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Trout Lily is one of our earliest bloomers after the snow melts and today in this area of mountain birch they are starting to shine,100 yards up the road in the conifers the snow is still a foot deep. These plants are only common in a few habitats in my area being usually river floodplains and some hardwood forest.

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Here is just a flower.

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This photo shows you why the name Trout Lily was chosen for this plant due to the purplish brown and green mottled leaves which resembles a trout’s sides.

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The parts of the Trout Lily I choose to eat are the stem & unopened flower buds and also the young seed pods, the bulbs are by far the most popular edible part but I prefer not to dig them up. Some Trout Lily beds can be several hundred feet in area and can be near a hundred years old with new bulbs spreading out from the parents and taking many years before they can produce flowers and also seeds on occasion can start up new areas often planted by ants due to something tasty attached to their seeds, check out elaiosome.

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2 Responses to “Trout Lily”

  1. Hilda May 17, 2015 at 7:58 pm #

    I have come across these beautiful plants in the woods where I collect fiddleheads and ramps, but unfortunately there aren’t enough to pick them. You are lucky to find such a fine bunch!

    • 1left May 18, 2015 at 6:19 pm #

      Yes Hilda we are Trout Lily fortunate indeed, though you folks are the lucky ones when it comes to Ramps, they are very rare here in my neck of the woods. Great we both share seeing these beautiful spring plants and get to enjoy tasting some of the common ones.

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