Herb: Fawn Lily

Latin name: Erythronium albidum mesochoreum

Synonyms: Erythronium mesochoreum

Family: Liliaceae (Lily Family)

Edible parts of Fawn Lily:

Bulb - raw or cooked. Rather small, it is about 20mm long. The bulbs are eaten avidly by children. Young leaves - raw or cooked. Crisp, tasty, tender and mild when eaten raw. Eating the leaves will greatly reduce the vigour of the bulb, so can only be recommended in times of emergency.

Description of the plant:


5 cm
(2 inches)

to April

Habitat of the herb:

Woods, thickets and meadows. Prairies and dry woods in Texas.

Propagation of Fawn Lily:

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a shady position in a cold frame. Water lightly in summer, it should germinate in autumn or winter. Stored seed requires a period of cold stratification. Sow as early in spring as possible in a cold frame. Sow the seed thinly so that it will not be necessary to prick them out for their first year of growth. Give an occasional liquid feed to the seedlings to make sure that they do not become nutrient deficient. When the plants are dormant, pot up the small bulbs putting 2 - 3 bulbs in each pot. Grow them on in a shady position in the greenhouse for another 2 3 years and then plant them out into their permanent positions when they are dormant in late summer. Division in summer as the leaves die down. This species does not produce offsets.

Cultivation of the herb:

Woods, thickets and meadows. Prairies and dry woods in Texas.

Medicinal use of Fawn Lily:

None known

Known hazards of Erythronium albidum mesochoreum:

Although no records of toxicity have been seen for this species, the following notes have been seen for another member of this genus and so some caution is advised. Skin contact with the bulbs has been known to cause dermatitis in sensitive people.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.