Herb: White Trout-Lily

Latin name: Erythronium albidum

Family: Liliaceae (Lily Family)

Edible parts of White Trout-Lily:

Bulb - raw or cooked. A delicious flavour. Rather small, it is about 25mm long. 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. Flowers, flower buds and flower stems - raw or cooked.

Description of the plant:


5 cm
(2 inches)

to April

Habitat of the herb:

Moist woods, thickets and meadows.

Propagation of White Trout-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:

Moist woods, thickets and meadows.

Medicinal use of White Trout-Lily:

None known

Known hazards of Erythronium albidum:

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.