Spring beauty: Erythroniums (Trout Lilies)

These elegant and delicate plants flower for a week or so, set seed (which are carried deep underground by ants, where some germinate) and vanish within weeks, spotted leaves and all, until next year. The leaves are beautiful in themselves, and give several Erythronium species their common names, Trout Lily and Fawn Lily. They may also be called dog’s-tooth violet and adder’s-tongue, for reasons unknown to me. Here we have Erythronium hendersonii, the only purplish species. Others are white, pink, or yellow. Species found in southern Oregon include E. hendersonii, E. oregonum, E. californicum, E. montanum (Avalanche Lily), E. citrinum (Citrus Fawn Lily or Cream Fawn Lily), E. howellii, and E. klamathense/klamathensis.

These pictures were taken April 3 and 4, 2009.

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