Native to eastern North America, the Trout Lily is a delicate looking yet hardy plant, with lily-like yellow flowers. A beautiful spring ephemeral, although it has a short-lived bloom, the brown spotted leaves are lovely throughout the season set out in a woodland garden.
Trout lilies have a symbiotic relationship with ants known as myrmecochory which means that they exchange a lipid-rich appendage on their seeds in return for an ant seed dispersal that spreads the seeds and also protects the them from predators. Trout Lily’s appearance is one of the first signs of spring and always brings delight to those who find it in the forest.
Foragers love this plant since edible in small amounts. The leaves have a very mild flavor and the flowers have a slight sweetness. The corms are edible as well and have a cucumber-like taste. Eating too much of this plant can cause nausea so caution is recommended. Trout Lily is at risk in some states in the wild thus it is an important plant to grow for repopulation in forests and for home cultivation.