Trout Lilies

John Barry

I have started a patch of Trout Lilies (Erythronium americanum) using bulb transplants and they are spreading nicely in my woodland garden. However I have never seen one of the yellow "lilies". I was wondering if they need to be in the ground for a certain number of years before they bloom. Anyone ever able to get these plants to bloom?

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WoodsTea 6a MO(6a)

From http://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/woodland/plants/yl_troutlily.html:

"It takes several years of development (typically about 8 years) before individual plants will flower in a typical woodland setting."

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dbarron(z7_Arkansas)

And these plants are known to have "blind" vegetatively propagated colonies

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WoodsTea 6a MO(6a)

I suppose with a wait like that it will be especially exciting when they do bloom.

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elvis

I have trout lilies in a shade bed under an apple tree. They were blooming when I dug them up from the woods in the Sheboygan Falls, WI area, and I've moved them to the far north, some bloom, some don't. They are slowly spreading. Of course, I do not know how old the bulbs were when I found them blooming.

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Campanula UK Z8

Even growing from seed takes less than 8 years (6 years and even 5 at a push). Perhaps to get a really decent colony from a handful of transplants? Once the bulbs are of flowering size, depending on fertility and moisture, the colony should double in size every 2-3 years - a daughter bulb can take 3-4 years to reach blooming size- faster if you deadhead to stop energy going into seed. My longest wait was 7 years for martagons (although a percentage was in bloom after 5 years)...and often the first year after transplanting will be a non-blooming year even with mature bulbs. Trilliums were a long wait (and then they hated my soil and conditions).

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wisconsitom(Zone 4/5)

John, I might have misinterpreted your post, but in any case I'll ask, were these the white-flowering type or the yellow? Both exist and often side by side. Like most such plants, it can seem to take a while for a patch to get going, but trout lilies can really cover some ground once they do get going.

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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

These were said to be Erythronium americanum, so yellow flowered.

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wisconsitom(Zone 4/5)

Yup...good catch. Wonder how it all went!

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dbarron(z7_Arkansas)

I find E. albidum to be easier to grow/flower typically in my garden, but going to give these another shot this year (they're planted now)...and hoping for a show in a couple of years (realizing they have to settle in).


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wisconsitom(Zone 4/5)

Around here, both are very common. I like them both but I guess if I had to reach for just one, it would be the yellow-flowering type. Trout lily is a good example of a plant that it really pays to get down on your haunches to look at, to see all the amazing detail in both flowers and leaves.

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Meris

Not to hijack this thread, but you all seem to know about trout lilies.

I'm not an expert at trout lilies at all, I was so excited to find some at our house. I had a ton of flowering ones and offered some to neighbors, a few to get them started. My husband decided to do it day, while I wasn't home, and decimated my beautiful patches with flowers. He gave them ALL away. I nearly cried.

Now I am left with just some single leaf patches, will those propagate? Will I get flowers? I'll add a pic I took a few days ago when I get on my iPad.

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wisconsitom(Zone 4/5)

Meris, although I'm not looking at it, it does sound to me as though there might be enough remnant plants to get the patch going again. Time will need to pass, of course. Sorry about that.

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Meris

Thank you. There are few patches of the single leaves left. Time. The bane & gift of gardeners.

Below is a pic of one of the several patches that are gone. Around the flowering patches there were single leaf ones, that's what's left.

Hopefully next year!

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wisconsitom(Zone 4/5)

Yeah, those are just young plants. provided no further disturbance, they will eventually rebound. Surprisingly tough plant.

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