April 22, 2020

White Trout Lilies for Wildflower Wednesday

trout lily 1

Last spring, while hiking in a favorite county park, I happened upon a colony of White Trout Lilies (Erythronium albidum). I'd been to that park dozens (100s?) of times over the years, but I hadn't visited that sweet little section during the early spring, until last year. What a beautiful sight to see--the forest floor was literally carpeted with the dainty white blooms.

trout lily 2

That section of the park has become a favorite destination, and I was thrilled to see the speckled foliage of these exquisite ephemerals emerging a couple of weeks ago; then flowering this week. This species of Erythronium is commonly found in low, deciduous woods; thickets; floodplains; and prairies in the early spring. Native to many areas of Eastern North America, it prefers part shade or shade, but in deciduous forests with plenty of spring sunshine.

I've noticed this plant is plentiful in the wooded section of the park very near a low spot next to the lake, while absent in the wooded hilly sections further from the shore, so it appears to need plentiful moisture.

trout lily 3

The one-inch, nodding flowers remind me of little caps, with curled petals and shy yellow stamens that extend down from the center. The blooms hang low off short, slender stalks. One of the first native ephemerals to bloom in the spring, the flowers close up at night and open in the morning.

trout lily 4

One thing I did notice, comparing last year's photos to this year's, is that the flowers seem to have more color when they first bloom, and fade to a stunning translucent, linen-like white with time. I don't really have favorite flowers, but...what can I say...this one is exquisite.

I'm joining in Gail's Wildflower Wednesday. Head on over to her blog, Clay and Limestone to read about other amazing wildflowers. And Happy Earth Day!

30 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Hi Lea! Yes, they are lovely. Hope you're having a great weekend!

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  2. It's so beautiful and my favorite yrotlily.

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  3. I have some trout lily foliage. I can't wait for the day they bloom. Yours are so pretty. Happy Wildflower day.

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    1. I wish I had some in my garden, Lisa! Please do share when yours bloom, and I love the foliage, too. I think my garden is too dry for them--it's sloping, so the rain drains pretty fast.

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  4. I love “happenstance happenings” . . .
    Lovely flower!

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    1. Yes, it's fun to have new experiences at all stages of life! I'd seen trout lilies before, but never so close to my home--at a favorite hiking location. :)

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  5. The yellow variety of trout lily carpets the floor in our woods. It's a stunning sight when they come into bloom.

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    1. Oh, lovely! It's amazing to see masses of them, isn't it? I think the yellow ones are easier to photograph in a landscape view, while you really have to get close to E. albidum to truly appreciate it. :)

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  6. They're lovely, and clearly happy in just the right spot.

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    1. Yes, I think so, Kris. It's interesting that the conditions are roughly the same throughout this section of the property, but the trout lilies are only in a small, low-lying area.

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  7. Beautiful, the wild flowers are just peeking out up this way.
    I spotted some ramps this evening during my walk.

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    1. Oh ramps! Yum. I have some here, too, so I'll have to search. Mine usually mature when the fiddleheads are ready. :)

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  8. Exquisite is the correct word here, Beth. These really are gorgeous flowers and not something I could grow, so thanks for sharing.

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    1. I wish they lasted longer, Tina. They're true ephemerals, and even the foliage fades. But it's so fun to see them in the wild.

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  9. It seems to me I had a few trout lilies at one point. I wonder where they went. Sigh.

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    1. Oh gosh, I hope they'll come back, Pat. They are lovely, aren't they?

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  10. That's a lovely wildflower and your photos are excellent. The flower reminds me a little of a Cyclamen. With the name "trout lily" plentiful water seems appropriate!

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    1. Thank you! Yes, it does resemble Cyclamen. Both are exquisite. :)

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  11. Beautiful flower. I have never seen the flower for real

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    1. Isn't it wonderful! I haven't seen the flowers much in my life either, although I've more frequently seen the interesting foliage. The flowers don't last long. Now that I know where to find this patch, I will try to see them every year. :)

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  12. Ooh, those are gorgeous! Wish I had some.

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    1. Me, too, Jason, but I don't think they would like my upland, dry shade garden. I'll have to appreciate them while hiking.

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  13. I agree with you, Beth, they are exquisite. I wish I had some but I don't think I have the conditions for Erythronium here. Beautiful post. P. x

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    1. Same in my garden, Pam. Thank you; they are so inspiring. :)

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  14. They are so pretty. Wish I could see them in real life. You were lucky and I'm glad you had your camera with you.
    Jeannie@GetMeTotheCountry

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    1. Now that I know where this patch is, I will try to go back every spring to see them. They are very special. :)

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  15. I have what appear to be trout lily foliage coming up all over the place. Very mysterious. A since leaf here, another over there. I'm leaving them all in the hopes that something more will evolve.

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    1. Oh, yay! That's exciting, Pat. Do keep us posted!

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