2022: Missouri’s Spring Ephemeral Wildflowers “White Trout Lily” (Erythronium albidum.)

While out on a Webster Groves Nature Study Society Nature Photography hike to the woodlands, El Presidente, Senor Ozark Bill, “put me on game” He pointed out the leaf structure of what is commonly referred to as, Dog’s tooth violet – with a native range of Eastern North America. This spring ephemeral blooms in April, with a showy flower, occurs in moist woods, on wooded slopes and bluffs and along streams. It should be noted that white trout lily is, from a botanical standpoint, a more accurate common name since this plant is a member of the lily family and not the violet family. The one thing which stood out and made me eager to find a bloom this spring was – this plant will not flower for 5-6 years, according to Ozark Bill.

Growing from a bulb, a single, nodding, bell – or lily-shaped white flower with yellow at the base blooms atop a naked scape sheathed by two basal, single boat-shaped dusty silver-green leaves and brown mottling. Typically grows 6-12” tall.

Dogtooth Violet “White Trout Lily” (Erythronium albidum)

On this adventure, I had the joy of being accompanied by the Bilgere’s Karen and Bill, both very knowledgeable, botanists – a huge thanks to them for accompanying me. On a tip, I heard that the White Trout Lily was in bloom. not having a clue where to start, leaving the trailhead, we agreed to hike a trail, which meandered into an open field, the trail continued to an inclined path upwards passing through a wooded area, along a small spring, which flowed into a small stream. We hiked a mile up the trail, without much success.

Making our way back to the trailhead, I checked another area, where the stream continued and as the phrase goes, “as luck would have it” we saw maybe hand full of blooms, atop a stream bank.

I shot this image illuminated from below. I wanted to create a lantern effect, given the darker background. Really glad I stayed to get these images, the next day’s forecast called for rain and boy did it rain; all-day rain.

Dogtooth Violet “A Sleepy White Trout Lily” (Erythronium albidum)

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