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Erythronium americanum - Ker-Gawl.

Common Name Trout Lily, Dogtooth violet
Family Liliaceae
USDA hardiness 3-7
Known Hazards Although no records of toxicity have been seen for this species, the following notes have been seen for another member of this genus and so some caution is advised. Skin contact with the bulbs has been known to cause dermatitis in sensitive people[65].
Habitats Meadows and rich damp open woodland[4, 43].
Range Eastern N. America - New Brunswick to Florida, west to Ontario and Arkansas.
Edibility Rating    (4 of 5)
Other Uses    (3 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade
Erythronium americanum Trout Lily, Dogtooth violet


Erythronium americanum Trout Lily, Dogtooth violet
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Pan_krzy%C5%BC%C3%B3wka

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of bulb
Erythronium americanum is a BULB growing to 0.2 m (0ft 8in) by 0.1 m (0ft 4in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 3 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from March to April, and the seeds ripen from May to June. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs).
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Habitats

Woodland Garden Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; Ground Cover; Lawn;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Flowers  Leaves  Root
Edible Uses:

Bulb - raw[106] or cooked[105, 177]. A crisp, chewy and very pleasant taste[183]. The bulb is up to 25mm long and is buried quite deeply in the soil[4]. Leaves - raw or cooked[105, 177]. Added to salads[183]. Eating the leaves will greatly reduce the vigour of the bulb, so can only be recommended in times of emergency[K]. Flowers, flower buds and flower stems - raw or cooked[183].

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Antiscrophulatic  Contraceptive  Emetic  Emollient  Poultice

All parts of the plant, but especially the bulb and the fresh leaves, are strongly emetic and are not used internally[4]. The fresh leaves are also antiscrofulatic and emollient and are used as an infusion or stimulating poultice applied to swellings, tumours and scrofulous ulcers[4, 106, 254]. The juice from crushed leaves has been applied to wounds that are not healing[257]. A poultice of the crushed bulbs has been applied to swellings and to help remove splinters[257]. The raw plant, excluding the roots, has been used by native North American young girls to prevent conception[257].

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Other Uses

Plants spread freely by means of underground stems and make a delightful ground cover in dappled shade[257]. The plants are only in growth from late winter to late spring so the ground cover effect is ephemeral[K].

Special Uses

Food Forest  Ground cover

Cultivation details

Prefers slightly acid soil conditions but succeeds in chalky soils if these contain plenty of humus[164]. Requires semi-shade, preferably provided by trees or shrubs, and a well-drained soil[42, 164]. Succeeds in almost any light soil, preferring one that is rich in humus[1]. Nonflowering plants far outnumber flowering ones in most populations because of their extensive stolon production[270]. This species does not flower very freely, increasing mainly by its stoloniferous habit[164]. The flowers only open in warm sun[90]. When established in woodland, this species can spread very freely by means of underground roots[258]. Flowers are produced in 3 - 4 years from seed[164]. The plant is heat tolerant in zones 9 through 2. (Plant Hardiness Zones show how well plants withstand cold winter temperatures. Plant Heat Zones show when plants would start suffering from the heat. The Plant Heat Zone map is based on the number of "heat days" experienced in a given area where the temperature climbs to over 86 degrees F (30°C). At this temperature, many plants begin to suffer physiological damage. Heat Zones range from 1 (no heat days) to 12 (210 or more heat days). For example Heat Zone. 11-1 indicates that the plant is heat tolerant in zones 11 through 1.) For polyculture design as well as the above-ground architecture (form - tree, shrub etc. and size shown above) information on the habit and root pattern is also useful and given here if available. The plant growth habit is a clumper with limited spread [1-2]. Ephemeral emerging in spring and dying back by summer every year [1-2]. The root pattern is stoloniferous rooting from creeping stems above the ground [1-2]. The root pattern is a corm swelling at the stem base [1-2].

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Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

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Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a shady position in a cold frame. Water lightly in summer, it should germinate in autumn or winter[164, 200]. Stored seed requires a period of cold stratification[164]. Sow as early in spring as possible in a cold frame. Sow the seed thinly so that it will not be necessary to prick them out for their first year of growth. Give an occasional liquid feed to the seedlings to make sure that they do not become nutrient deficient. When the plants are dormant, pot up the small bulbs putting 2 - 3 bulbs in each pot. Grow them on in a shady position in the greenhouse for another 2 3 years and then plant them out into their permanent positions when they are dormant in late summer. Division in summer as the leaves die down. This species does not produce offsets[200].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

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Author

Ker-Gawl.

Botanical References

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Subject : Erythronium americanum  
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