Trout Lily - Erythronium americanum

Above pictures of Trout Lilies taken on the Culham Trail in Riverwood Park, Mississaugua,April 23rd.

The Trout Lily or Adder's Tongue is composed of a delicate yellow bell-shaped flower nestled between two mottled basal leaves. It can easily be confused with the common Bellwort but the leaves are of a different arrangement. It is found in open woodlands and low lying areas but not open fields. Often found in the same area as Trillium and Mayapple.
This beautiful member of the Lily Family has many common names, which include Trout Lily and Dog-Tooth Violet.
The Trout Lily is pollinated by ants, and after a seed is planted, it will take up to seven years to make a mature plant. Only plants that have two leaves will flower.
The mature plant has two mottled basal leaves, and a small lily nodding from the top of a leafless stem (scape). The lily is yellow, with three sepals and three petals (6 tepals). The sepals are yellow on the inside and purplish brown on the back. The petals are entirely yellow.
The lily opens each morning and closes each night, but during the middle of a bright day the tepals open so far that they often curve backwards in a reflexed position.
The plant grows from a deep rootstock or corm which is 3-5 inches underground, and it often spreads from offshoots of this corm, thus creating colonies of trout lilies. They grow best in a deciduous woodland environment where they receive filtered light in the spring. They prefer a humus rich soil.

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