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New England south to GA, west MN to LA. Most common in the East.
Perennial from a deeply buried corm. Produces one or two brown, lanceolate to elliptic, mottled leaves that appear to be basal. Flowers solitary, nodding, yellow. Petals and sepals 3, recurved. Stamens 6, yellow. Stigmas erect, to 2 mm long. Fruit a capsule.
Flowers April to May
Wetland indicator: Upland
Often found in sizable colonies. The mottled pattern on the leaves is said to resemble that of a trout, hence the name 'trout lily'. Of the approximately 30 species of Erythronium, most occur in North America. One occurs in Europe and at least 3 occur in Japan. E. japonicum has particularly showy blue-violet flowers.
Michael Hough © 2004