Yellow Trout Lily, Yellow Dog Tooth Violet

Erythronium rostratum

Family: Liliaceae (lil-ee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Erythronium (er-ih-THROH-nee-um) (Info)
Species: rostratum (ro-STRAY-tum) (Info)





Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are good for drying and preserving

Water Requirements:

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Where to Grow:

This plant is suitable for growing indoors


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)


6-9 in. (15-22 cm)


USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:

Light Shade


Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:

Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring




Other details:

This plant may be considered a protected species; check before digging or gathering seeds

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

San Francisco, California

Winsted, Connecticut

Fayette, Iowa

Barbourville, Kentucky

Prospect, Kentucky

Frederick, Maryland

Belleville, Michigan

Bessemer, Michigan

Houghton, Michigan

Alden, New York

Croton On Hudson, New York

Bucyrus, Ohio

Chesterland, Ohio

Columbus, Ohio

Vermilion, Ohio

Clarksville, Tennessee

Salem, Utah

Blacksburg, Virginia

Menasha, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Apr 24, 2008, mbhoakct76 from Winsted, CT wrote:

a wildflower here in connecticut, the leaves are pretty . it covers a shady moist area under pine trees in my yard. It
flowers a small and barely noticeable yellow flower in early spring and adds a little life to the bare ground in the spring before everything else emerges , it dies back right after flowering, so far i have left it to be with no problems.


On Apr 5, 2007, kooger from Oostburg, WI (Zone 5b) wrote:

These pretty flowers were quite common in our woods in southern Ontario. We frequently went for walks to see them, and trilliums, hepaticas, bloodroot, purple violets and I don't remember what else.


On Apr 22, 2005, djc600 from Upper Peninsula, MI (Zone 4a) wrote:

Grows wild in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan-blooms just before the Trilliums


On Apr 19, 2003, MartyJo from Fayette, IA (Zone 4b) wrote:

Needs to be kept from drying out over the summer while plant is dormant.


On Mar 16, 2003, Weezingreens from Seward, AK (Zone 3b) wrote:

E. rostratum grows on wooded slopes & along shaded stream beds. It is a wildflower of the Ozarks, but is found as far north as Ohio. The blooms rise about 8 inches above the plant, resembling a small lily. As the bloom matures, the petals roll back. The foliage is lanceolate and is mottled in a deep purplish brown resembling the spots on a trout (thus the name). The shape of the bulbs accounts for its other common name, Yellow Dog Tooth Violet. This plant does not transplant well and is protected in many areas.


On Mar 16, 2003, lgsherk from Vandiver, AL (Zone 7a) wrote:

The only trout lily that I am familiar with is a native to Alabama, Erythronium rostratum. It has a bright yellow flower that appears in March. It also has lovely mottled green leaves that are similar in color to those of Trillium(in nature they usually grow together.) It grows in rich woods (but I have planted it on my rocky hillside in the shade and it is doing fine) and ravines.