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Erythronium dens-canis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
Order: Liliales
Family: Liliaceae
Subfamily: Lilioideae
Tribe: Lilieae
Genus: Erythronium
Type species
Erythronium dens-canis
  • Mithridatium Adans. 1763, illegitimate superfluous name
  • Dens-canis Tourn. ex Rupp. 1745, not validly published

Erythronium (fawn lily, trout lily, dog's-tooth violet, adder's tongue) is a genus of Eurasian and North American plants in the lily family.[2][3][4][5][6][7]


Erythronium includes about 20–30 species of hardy spring-flowering perennial plants with long, tooth-like bulbs. Slender stems carry pendent flowers with recurved tepals in shades of cream, yellow, pink and mauve. Species are native to forests and meadows in temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere.[8][1][9]

Formerly included[edit]

Two species names were coined using the name Erythronium but referring to species now considered better suited to other genera. Here are links to help you find appropriate information


The bulb is edible as a root vegetable, cooked or dried, and can be ground into flour. The leaves can also be cooked as a leaf vegetable. In Japan, Erythronium japonicum is called katakuri, and the bulb is processed to produce starch, which is used for food and other purposes.

They are also widely grown as ornamental plants, with numerous hybrids and cultivars having been selected for garden use. Popular cultivars include Erythronium 'Pagoda', E. 'Sundisc', E. 'Joanna', E. 'Kondo', E. 'Citronella', E. californicum 'White Beauty', and E. 'Rosalind'. Propagation is best by seed in autumn or by division of bulbs, depending on species. Some species propagate vegetatively. The plant is also great as a ground cover, as it will spread over several years.


  1. ^ a b Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
  2. ^ Jepson Manual
  3. ^ Flora of North America, Vol. 26 Page 153, Erythronium
  4. ^ Flora of China Vol. 24 Page 126 猪牙花属 zhu ya hua shu Erythronium Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 305. 1753.
  5. ^ Altervista Flora Italiana, Dente di cane, Dog's Tooth Violet, genere Erythronium
  6. ^ Clennett, J.C.B. (2006). A taxonomic revision of Erythronium L. (Liliaceae): 1-290. Thesis, Open University, Ardingly, U.K..
  7. ^ Clennett, C. (2014). The genus Erythronium: 1-158. Kew Publishing, Kew.
  8. ^ RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 1405332964. 
  9. ^ Biota of North America Program 2013 county distribution maps


  • "Erythronium 'Pagoda'". Royal Horrticultural Society. Retrieved 17 March 2014. 
  • Clennett, John C. B.; Chase, Mark W.; Forest, Félix; Maurin, Olivier; Wilkin, Paul (December 2012). "Phylogenetic systematics of Erythronium (Liliaceae): morphological and molecular analyses". Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 170 (4): 504–528. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8339.2012.01302.x.