Erythronium americanum

Erythronium americanum
Erythronium americanum

Yellow Trout Lily
Erythronium americanum2.jpg
Binomial:Erythronium americanum

Erythronium americanum (Trout lily, Yellow trout lily) is a plant native to woodlands in Eastern North America.


Trout lilies are low-growing, colonizing plants with simple, spotted leaves and basal yellow flowers on short stems. The foliage is ephemeral in midsummer, dying back fully by late summer.

Growing ConditionsEdit

Trout lilies grow best in deep, moist, but well drained soils in deciduous shade. The foliage emerges in late winter, followed by early spring flowers.



Among magic-users, the plant is known as Adder's tongue, American Adder's tongue, Serpent's tongue and Adder's mouth. It is used in healing magic. A practitioner soaks the plant in cold water and applies it to a wound or bruise until the spot grows warm, then buries the wet herb in muddy ground. The wound is believed to be cured by this procedure.

Among magic users, Adder's tongue is associated with the planet Venus and the feminine spirit.


Dense patch of Erythronium americanum, Gadsden Co. Florida

This plant can be difficult in the garden, due to its slow growth and ephemeral nature. The roots are surprisingly deep as well, making transplanting difficult. They do not tolerate heavy foot traffic.


Pests and DiseasesEdit