Field Notes

Trout Lily

April 26, 2019

The small and unique “trout lily” (Erythronium americanum) is one of the first spring ephemeral plant species to herald the arrival of spring.  This little native plant in the Lily family has speckled leaves that resemble a trout, hence its common name, but it also goes by many other common names as well.  The leaves emerge in April and can sometimes consist of large colonies as the plant prefers to grow clonally (via underground runners). Trout Lily grows in rich organic soils of Maple-Beech forests throughout Michigan and has an interesting life history.  Research has suggested the average age of a trout lily colony can be up to 150 years old, and potentially over 1,000 years old in undisturbed forests.  The yellow Trout Lily flower is pollinated by many species of insects and is a beautiful spring plant to enjoy.

Categorised in: