Tag Archives: Trout-lily

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.

Maritime early risers

10 May

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I often show orpine here on the blog, it is one of the first edibles available in my area and seems very common around fresh water streams, fields and thickets.DSC06658

 

Lots of snow and rain this year made for some flooding and in fact the road I travelled here on is washed out a mile south and closed for repair for several weeks now. Here we see why Orpine is aka Live Forever as the soil usually around its tubers is completely gone, yet the green growth on these plants looks as good as the ones in soil, the tubers are softening and drying out though.

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This seems like a good opportunity to reach down and pick up a few more young Orpine plants to bring home to my garden as it is a great salad plant and I would like to try Orpine tubers in the fall and winter in a few different ways this year, this collection will help me recall the tubers later on. Orpine is a survivor and will grow a new plant even from a small piece of stem placed in soil and this is the usual way I move these plants to new areas, today the tubers were presented to me in a way I most generously accept.

 

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Here below the blackberry canes we see one of our first spring wild flowering plants the Trout Lily (Erythronium americanum), I haven’t eaten this plant very often over the decades due mainly to my believe I maybe harming the population by digging the well buried bulbs which is considered by many to be the best edible part.

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Trout Lily is also very common along streams and in some hard wood areas. This year I’ve decided like most other years to leave the bulbs and leaves be, though I will gather some of the flower buds, flowers with stems to eat raw, cooked and also try fermented. Click on the photo to noticed patterns on the leaves which do resemble a trout’s sides.

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Lastly, here is a little Maritime beaver art for you, another resemblance this freshly chomped piece looks somewhat similar to the large conifer burl not far away, nicely done beaver. ciao for now

Ostrich ferns on the floodplain

17 May

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Ostrich fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris) at this stage in its growth this fern is considered unsafe to eat. Usually there will still be some younger plants suitable for eating as you move away from the water’s edge into shader areas often covered by last years layer of tall grass.

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Here are some young edible (when cooked) Ostrich fern fiddleheads which  actually were the first wild plant I started to gather back in the late 70s as it was the only wild food local grocery stores in the surrounding small towns in my area were very eager to buy. In those days I would usually gather around 500 lbs of fiddleheads starting around mid May and ending a few days before June.

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Another patch of almost full grown Ostrich ferns which again are now inedible but the green plants under the ferns are an interesting edible plant known as Trout-lily.

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A closer look  at Trout-lily (Erythronium americanum), these plants have already lost their early blooming yellow flowers and a seed head has formed as you can see. Here is some more info on the Trout-lily from White Wolf’s  YouTube video if you are interested. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kgO-k-P26A

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Lastly here is the plant I actually came to this area to find today, as I’m looking for some seeds from some of last years stems to grow some tender young leaves. You’ve all seen this plant or its smaller relative around, below is a photo of one of the old last year stems, you may need to click on the photo to enlarge to notice the seed heads, it is a bit of an eye test. I’ll do a post on this plant a little later on..

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