The Trout Lily Project was recently discussed on the In Defense of Plants podcast. You can take a listen here . With thanks to Matt Candeias.

Trout lily (Erythronium americanum) exhibits striking variation in the colour of its anthers & pollen grains.  Anthers that lack red pigment are pure yellow in color, whereas those that produce red pigment range in color from pale orange to deep brick red. Although this variation is well known, its ecological significance remains virtually unstudied.

The goal of the Trout Lily Project is to document the frequency of the yellow and the red-orange anther morphs across the range of American trout lily (Erythronium americanum).  If you’re out admiring the spring ephemerals this year, please take a closer look at the trout lilies, and submit your observations here.


A big thank you to the nearly 100 citizen scientists who submitted data during 2016.  You can find a summary of last year’s results here.

22 thoughts on “Welcome

  1. Hi Donald,
    Thanks very much for providing these data. I’m sorry you had trouble with the CitSci site, and will be sure to enter your observations myself. Sincerely, Emily Austen


  2. Hi Clement,
    Thanks very much for these interesting observations. A few years ago, when I first noticed the anther colour variation, I thought it correlated with the colour of the back (abaxial) tepal surface, too. But, like you, after further observation I had to concede that this didn’t seem to be the case. At least not consistently. Have you got any photos of the flowers with undeveloped stamens? thanks again, Emily


  3. In my yard (1511 Farsta Ct, Reston) had two blooms this year — often have none — had two, both yellow. In nearby upper Colvin Run (just downstream from Bridge below Lake Anne Nursery Kinder (LANK), saw several blooms, all yellow, last weekend.


    • Hi William, if you’re able to submit the data & photos to the CitSci project page (you can find the link under the “Submit data” tab), that would be the most helpful. This method will ensure that the lat, long, and other details are correct. Thank you!


  4. Yellow petals, and dark brick red anthers and pollen grains. all around my house in Green Bay Wisconsin. If you would like a photograph, I’ll send it to you.


    • Hi Caroline! Thanks for this observation. If you’re able to enter the data to the CitSci page (you can find the link under the “Submit Data” tab above), that would be most helpful. This method ensures all the data are correctly recorded. Thank you again! Emily


  5. Hi. I live in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In a small urban woods here I observed both the yellow antler and the brown antler Trout Lily. Within 10 yards of one another. I took pics if you need them.


    • Hi Christine! Thanks for this observation. It would be most helpful if you could enter these data into the CitSci project page… you can find the link under the “Submit Data” tab above. Thank you again! Emily


    • Hi Michele!
      Thanks very much for this observation. It would be most helpful if you could enter these data into the CitSci project page (you can find the link under the “Submit Data” tab above). This ensures that all of the information is correctly recorded in one place. Thanks very much again! Sincerely, Emily


    • Thanks Maria!
      I saw on your site that you’re in New England. Whereabouts? Trout lilies are flowering now (May 11) here in New Brunswick, but I think the season must be over throughout most of the range. Thanks again for your help!
      Sincerely, Emily


      • Hi Emily! I’m actually located in Michgan’s Upper Peninsula (near Houghton, MI), but I go to New England a lot for work. The trout lilies are just starting here, but we’re pretty far north as well. Best of luck in your research!


  6. We have hundreds of trout lilies on our property here in Aylmer. They are mostly done now. The colour of the pollen varies from bright red to completely yellow…more yellow in the woods, more orange in the yard. I thought I was the only one who noticed a difference 🙂


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