The Trout Lily (erythronium americanum) can be clearly identified by its mottled leaves from which it receives its name - said to resemble the coloring/patterning of that of a speckled or brown trout. Each flower arises from a set of two leaves upon a stalk bearing only one flower. The outer flower appearing bronze and the inner a bright yellow.
It is sometimes known under the common name Dog Tooth Violet due to the toothlike shape of the underground bulb. However, since it's not part of the violet family this is a confusing nomenclature (let's just stick to trout lily).
There is also a White Trout Lily (erythronium albidum) which bears similarly patterned leaves but are more narrow and the flower is white (sometimes tinged lavender). Bloom time for the white trout lily is generally Feb. - April.
Since 2015 we have been exploring and sharing all the amazing things we’ve found in nature.
Emily is an Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist who is most often found out in the woods.