Common Names: Trout lily, yellow trout lily, yellow dogtooth violet, yellow adder's tongue, yellow fawn lily
Sub-category: Lily family
One of the earliest spring flowers, these can often be found in abundance on the bare forest flower. They are called 'Trout Lilies' because of the patterning of the leaves resembling the skin of trout. Produces nodding one-inch yellow flowers, the three petals and three petal-like sepals recurved upward. Each plant sends up a single flower stem with a pair of leaves. Leaves are mottled with brown and purple.
Blooms in early spring and found in moist woods, on wooded slopes and bluffs, and along streams.
Edible Notes: Reports of edibility are varied, so it's probably best avoided. Some websites caution that other members of this genus are known to be toxic and that trout lily may cause contact dermatitis in some people. One report suggests 'all parts of the plant, but especially the bulb and the fresh leaves, are strongly emetic (causing vomiting) and are not used internally'. Other reports show that the bulb may be eaten, raw or cooked, and is crisp, sometimes chewy, and has a pleasant taste. Leaves are reported to be edible both raw and cooked. Flowers, flower buds and stems as well have been reported to be edible raw or cooked. I'm listing this plant as potentially edible but that it should be avoided until further information is available.
Warnings: Not known to be dangerous.