It’s late February and I was hiking at Crowders Mountain State Park. Not much was happening on the wildflower front but then I came upon this huge area filled with trout lilies (Erythronium americanum). I’d never seen these flowers before and they were putting on quite a show. They are only a few inches tall but have these distinctive leaves that make them easy to identify.
These tiny treasures are named after the brook or brown trout since their leaves resemble the brown and/or gray mottled colors seen on these fish. They are one of the first flowers to emerge in spring so they tell us spring isn’t far away. The leaves on the trees haven’t even leafed out yet so they can soak up the sun on the forest floor. Truly a special sighting on a warm winter afternoon.