Low herbs, from deep membranous-coated corms, sometimes propagated by offshoots, the stem simple, bearing a pair of broad or narrow unequal leaves, usually below the middle, the leaves thus appearing basal. Flowers large, nodding, bractless, solitary, or several in some western species. Many plants are flowerless and i-leaved, these leaves often wider and longer petioled than those of the stem. Perianth-segments separate, lanceolate, oblong or oblanceolate, deciduous, with nectariferous groove, and sometimes 2 short processes at the base. Stamens 6, hypogynous, shorter than the perianth; anthers linear oblong, not versatile. Ovary sessile, 3-celled; ovules numerous or several in each cavity; style filiform or thickened above, 3-lobed or 3-cleft. Capsule obovoid or oblong, somewhat 3-angled, locu-licidal. Seeds compressed, or somewhat angled and swollen. [Greek, in allusion to the red flowers of some species.]

About 12 species, all but one North American. The species are erroneously called Dog's-tooth Violet. Type species: Erythronum Dens-canis L.

Stem with no offshoot; flowers 10"-2' long.

Offshoots produced at the base of the corm; perianth-segments recurved.

Flowers yellow; stigmas very short.


E. americanum.

Flowers white, blue or purple; stigmas 1" - 1 1/2" long, recurved.


E. albidiini.

No offshoots, propagating by basal corms; perianth-segments not recurved.


E. mesachoreum.

Stem with fleshy offshoot below the leaves; flowers rose, about 1/2' long.


E. propullans.

9 Erythronium L Sp Pi 305 1753 1265

1. Erythronium Americanum Ker. Yellow Adders-Tongue

Fig. 1265

Erythronium americanum Ker, Bot. Mag. pi. 1113.

1 Je. 1808. Erythronium angustatum Raf. Med. Rep. (II.) 5:

354. 20 Jl. 1808. Erythronium bracteatum Bigel.; Beck, Bot. N. &

Mid. States 365. 1S33.

Corm ovoid, 6"-10" high, producing offshoots from its base. Stem 1/2°-1° long; leaves oblong or oblong-lanceolate, 3'-8' long, -2' wide, acute or short-acuminate at the apex, flat, usually mottled with brown, but sometimes green all over, narrowed into clasping petioles; peduncle about as long as the leaves, rarely bearing a bract; flower yellow, or rarely purplish tinged; perianth-segments oblong, 10"-2' long, 3'~4" wide, recurved, dotted within, the 3 inner auricled at the base; style club-shaped, with 3 very short stigmatic ridges; capsule obovoid, contracted into a short stipe, 6"-10" high; seeds curved, rounded on the back, about \\" long, pointed at both ends.

In moist woods and thickets, Nova Scotia to Ontario and Minnesota, south to Florida, Nebraska and Arkansas. Ascends to 5500 ft. in Virginia. Yellow- or Trout-lily. Trout-flower. Yellow-bells. Yellow snowdrop. Rattlesnake- or Dog's-tooth violet. Lamb's- or Deer's-tongue. Scrofula-root. Snake-root. March-May.

2. Erythronium Albidum Nutt. White Adder's-Tongue

Fig. 1266

Erythronium albidum Nutt. Gen. 1: 223. 1818.

Similar to the preceding species, the plant propagating by offshoots from the base of the corm, the leaves mottled, or green all over, sometimes rather narrower. Flower white, blue or purple; perianth-segments oblong, recurved, none of them auricled at the base; style somewhat thickened upward; stigmas linear, finally recurving, 1"-1 1/2" long; capsule obovoid or oblong, 5"-9' high.

In moist woods and thickets, Ontario to Minnesota, south to Georgia, Tennessee and Texas. Not common eastward. Spring-lily. Deer's-tongue. White Dog's-tooth violet. March-May.

2 Erythronium Albidum Nutt White Adder s Tongue 1266

3. Erythronium Mesachoreum Knerr. Midland Adder's-Tongue

Fig. 1267

Erythronium mesachoreum Knerr, Midland College Monthly 2: 5. 1891.

Corm ovoid, 10" high or less, not developing offshoots, the new corms formed at or within the base of the old one. Leaves narrowly oblong or linear-oblong, not mottled, 4'-10' long, 1/4'-l' wide, somewhat folded; flower lavender tinted, 1'-2' long; perianth-segments not recurved, sometimes a little spreading; style slender; stigmas recurved; capsule obo-void, larger than that of E. albidum, 1/2'- 1 1/2' high.

On prairies, Iowa to Missouri, Nebraska and Kansas. Blooms before E. albidum when the two grow in proximity. The flowering plants are said to appear before the 1-leaved flowerless ones.

3 Erythronium Mesachoreum Knerr Midland Adder s To 12673 Erythronium Mesachoreum Knerr Midland Adder s To 1268

4. Erythronium Propullans A. Gray. Minnesota Adder's-Tongue

Fig. 1268

Erythronium propullans A. Gray, Am. Nat. 298. pi. 74. 1871.

Corm ovoid, 10" high or less, not developing offshoots. Stem ascending, 6'-8' long, bearing a fleshy curved offshoot 1'-2' long from a slit near the base of the petiole-sheath; leaves oblong, acute, 2'-4' long, slightly mottled or green; flower rose or pink, about i' long, borne on a filiform peduncle shorter than the leaves, perianth-segments with a yellow base, apparently not recurved, none of them auricled; stigmas mere ridges.

In rich woods, Minnesota. May.