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Loveless, Brenda K.
Erythronium albidum Nutt.
White troutlily, Dogtooth violet, White fawnlily, Adder's tongue
USDA Symbol: eral9
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)
A low, lily-like plant with elliptic basal leaves which may or may not be maroon-mottled. Sterile 1-leaved plants grow together with fertile 2-leaved plants. A white bell-shaped flower, 1-2 in. long, is borne on 6-12 in. stalk. Petals and sepals are often bent backwards exposing six brown stamens. The name Dogtooth Violet comes from its root, a corm the size of a dogs tooth.
Leaves make an attractive ground cover. Plants multiply rapidly by root offshoots and seed, but can require up to six years before blooming.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Leaf Complexity: Simple Size Notes:
6 to 10 inches high Leaf:
Green mottled with purple Flower: Flower
1 inch across
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color:
White Bloom Time:
Feb , Mar , Apr Bloom Notes: In
Texas, blooms at same time as redbuds and wild plums.
, WV Canada: ON Native Distribution:
Southern Ontario south to eastern Texas Native Habitat:
woods; thickets; floodplains; prairies
Growing ConditionsWater Use:
Low , Medium Light Requirement:
Part Shade , Shade Soil Moisture:
Dry , Moist Soil pH:
Acidic (pH<6.8) , Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2) Soil Description:
Deep, humus-rich loam; acid, neutral, and lime soils okay, moist to dry Conditions Comments:
Adapted to grow in deciduous
hardwood forests, so should be planted where it will receive ample sun in early spring.
BenefitUse Ornamental: Adds white, early spring blossoms and pleasant, ground-level foliage to the woodland garden.
Use Wildlife: Deer consume leaves.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes
Deer Resistant: No
Root Division , Seeds Description:
The easiest way to propagate is by marking the plants in the spring and digging the offsets in late summer. Set these small bulbs at least three inches deep and mulch well. Collect seed in the spring and plant immediately. Plants propagated from seed wont bloom until their third or fourth year. Seed Collection:
Seeds mature 6-8 weeks after flowering. By then the leaves have withered so it is best to mark the plant while it is in flower. Seed capsules are light green and oval
in outline. Stored seeds quickly lose viability. Seed Treatment:
None necessary. Plant circa 6 inches deep in loose, humus-rich, woodland soil. Commercially Avail:
A leafy mulch in winter and spring is desirable. Clumps of plants that include many leaves and few flowers should be divided. Do not mow until after plant has withered.
National Wetland Indicator Status
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Pineywoods Native Plant Center
- Nacogdoches, TXMt. Cuba Center
- Hockessin, DE
Record Last Modified: 2013-09-09
Research By: TWC Staff