Trout Lily

Frederick County forests are coming back to life and many of the early season wildflowers are now in bloom including the trout lily. (Eruthronium americanum) Trout lily is an herbaceous perennial plant that develops a shared root system forming dense colonies some of which are at least 300 years old.

Credit: - Mike Kay

Trout lilies are one of the first wildflowers to arrive in the spring and they disappear by mid summer. Trout lilies prefer deciduous forests that have rich humus soils. The leaf of the trout lily has a brown mottled look much like our native brook trout. Our native trout lily has a yellow drooping flower however; there are about 30 species worldwide with a wide variety of colors. There are a number or ornamental varieties of this attractive plant. The bulb of the trout lily is edible and it can be eaten raw, cooked, or dried and ground into a flour.

Article by Mike Kay, FCFCDB member

Nature Note for 5/7/2022