by Jane Scully
This charming early spring wildflower of rich, moist woodlands carries a single nodding flower that is yellow inside and bronzy outside. The one-inch-wide flower is actually made up of three petals and 3 petal-like sepals, all of which curve backwards to show the six brownish anthers.
Trout lily is also recognized by the brown-mottled pair of leaves at its base, sheathing the flower's stem. These two-to-eight-inch elliptical leaves give the flower its common name, which refers to their similarity to the markings of the brown or brook trout.
Trout lilies are often found in sizable colonies, dappled flowers in a dappled light. While they are true members of the Lily family, their other common name is the Dogtooth Violet, because of the toothlike shape of the white underground bulb.
Check our Nature Finder to see what moist, rich places are home to these subtle jewels of the woods.