Trout Lily

It finally bloomed!

When we moved into our house, there was a 10- foot wide strip that had been left wild at the back of the yard. There was an apple tree, and an elm tree, and a wide assortment of interesting native plants. Unfortunately, one of the plants most prevalent in the strip was poison ivy. After weeks of fighting it tooth and nail, with the help of my brothers I finally eradicated it, but only at the expense of every living thing in the strip, including the elm tree. The apple survived, but was chopped down shortly thereafter when it became obvious that it was horribly ill. So, grass seed went in, and my lovely wild patch was gone.

But lo! a couple of years later, strange mottled leaves began to appear in the lawn each spring, leaves that looked much like the white trout lily I saw in the local parks. But no flowers appeared. Year after year, I left the little patch unmowed until the leaves died back. Finally, this year, I received my reward - two of the plants bloomed! But yellow flowers, not the white I had expected. This makes it erythronium americanum.

And not only is it an attractive spring ephemeral, it has a bunch of cool common names: dogtooth violet, trout lily, adder's tongue, and fawn lily among them. They can be ordered from the better bulb companies, but I love that mine is a native - and a sturdy one at that, to have returned after the holocaust I wrought upon its brethren!

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