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This month I'll cover some of the more well known areas to explore in North Central Texas to look for Trout Lilies (Erythronium albidum). Trout Lilies, or Dog Tooth Violets, are one of the more exciting native plants to emerge during late winter to early spring. The name "Trout Lily" comes from the resemblance of the speckling or mottling on trout. Flowers are white to lavender, sometimes tinged with various shades of blue and red. Peak flowering times are from late February to mid March. Plants begin to emerge from the ground about the second week of February, blooming about 2 weeks later. When you are in the field searching for Trout Lilies, observe the plants you see. Typically, plants with one leaf are immature, and will not flower the same year. Plants with two leaves are mature and will flower the same year. Typical habitats are moist wooded slopes, moist shady forests, and creek banks. Another species of Trout Lily (E. mesochoreum) is listed in BRIT's Illustrated Flora of North Central Texas (Diggs 1999), although according to the text, there is some question as to which species we have here. A third species, Yellow Trout Lily (E. americanum) is reported from Oklahoma at the Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge and farther east and northeast.
There are several locations with the Dallas/Ft. Worth area where Trout Lilies can be observed. Usually, late mornings to afternoon are the best times to view them.
- Breckinridge Park in Richardson (Collin County). See the CTMN calendar for a Trout Lily Walks there on March 1st from 1-2:30pm and 3-4:30pm.
- Cedar Hill State Park
- Dallas Nature Center
- LBJ National Grasslands on unit 49. There are probably others, but at least in the above mentioned unit.
- Spring Creek Forest Preserve in Garland has some of the best Trout Lily populations. SCFP is probably the best old growth bottomland hardwood forest in North Central Texas. Go to their website at http://springcreekforest.virtualave.net/ for directions to the preserve. A Trout Lily Walk will be held there on February 22nd at 10am, lead by Tom Frey from the City of Garland.
- Tandy Hill/Stratford Park. Tandy Hills Park is located south of Interstate 30, between Beach St and Oakland Blvd. See the CTMN calendar for a Trout Lily Walk there on February 22nd at 1pm.
- White Rock Lake in Dallas has populations, although I'm not sure of the exact locations.
Trout Lilies (Erythronium albidum) are in the lily family (Liliaceae), and are usually one of the major plants to begin to flower in late winter to early spring in north Central Texas. Trout Lily refers to the mottling on the leaves which resemble speckling on trout. Plants are perennial with deep bulbs. Leaves usually begin to emerge by the second week in February, and flower 2 - 3 weeks later, in most cases. A plant with one leaf is immature and will not flower. A plant with two leaves is mature and will flower. Plants usually require up to seven years to flower. Flowers are generally white, tinged with red or blue.
Trout Lily habitat is usually moist wooded slopes and along shaded creek drainages. According to the Illustrated Flora of North Central Texas (Diggs 1999), there is some question as to how many species are represented in north Central Texas. Another species, Yellow Trout Lily (Erythronium americanum), is reported from Oklahoma at the Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge, and farther east and northeast.