Tag Archives: Erythronium americanum

Trout lily green seed pods

10 Jun

Nibbled these green seed pods a few times over the years. Trout lily (Erythronium americanum) covers large areas of mature beech, maple hardwood forest here in the Martime provinces of Canada.

Most parts of the Erythronium americanum plant are listed as edible with the plant’s tiny bulbs considered by many to be the best for eating. The leaves and flowers are also edible though this plant comes with a warning that it can be emetic if eaten in large quantities. I find Trout lily beautiful while in flower, but today I notice it is also quite captivating while in this green seed pod stage.

My search for info on the historical use of Erythronium americanum’s green seed pods has come up empty, though I also looked for other members of Erythronium which has several in NA and Asia and it appear one out in Western Canada Erythronium grandiflorum known as the Avalanche lily has some record of food usage of the green seed pods. This was encouraging news as these pods seem like a nice way to harvest without too much negative impact on these plants.

Another photo of these beauties in a pleasant woods, very soon in this location there will be little trace of this plant as it is well known as a spring ephemeral. As for the green seed pods edibility I did consult the most knowledgeable wild food expert I know of and they agreed this is most likely  a safe part of this plant to consume in small amounts.

Here we see an ant’s eye view of a seedpod towering above. Although the main way trout lily spread in a forest is by runners, ants do help also when the seed pods breakdown on the ground surface, ants then have a tasty nutritious meal attached to the seed and with a natural appreciation plant some seeds during their picnic.

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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.