plant quick find clear

sunlight

flower color

foliage color

plant type

height

seasonal features

special features

problem solvers

Dog's-Tooth Violet

Erythronium

Dog’s-tooth violet is known by a host of common names that include yellow trout lily, yellow fawn lily, and yellow adder’s tongue. No matter the name, this native woodland wildflower (which, surprisingly, is not a member of the violet family) is a harbinger of spring in the shade garden. It spreads slowly to form colonies of mottled strappy foliage—similar in appearance to the skin of a spotted trout—below stems of nodding lilylike flowers in sunny yellow.

Tuck this tiny spring bloomer into shade gardens, woodland plantings, and shaded areas of rock gardens where it will gracefully greet spring. Thriving in moist or wet soil, it also grows well along stream banks and beside ponds. Plant it on stream banks to help prevent erosion.

Oops, we're sorry. Something went wrong. Please try again later.
Oops, we're sorry. Something went wrong. Please try again later.
Share your take on this idea!
Upload your photo here.
CLOSE

Light:

Part Sun, Shade

Type:

Height:

Under 6 inches

Width:

3 to 6 inches

Flower Color:

Foliage Color:

Seasonal Features:

Zones:

3-8

Propagation

Planting Partners

Pair dog's-tooth violet with other spring-blooming woodland wildflowers for a springtime flower show. Virginia bluebells (Mertensia virginiana), trillium, and jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum) are all great garden companions. Spring-blooming woodland wildflowers often retreat underground in the heat of summer. Plant them alongside perennials that will mask the empty garden spots the spring ephemerals leave behind. Ferns, astilbe, coral bells (Heuchera sanguinea), and hosta are all good mid- and late-season perennial companions for dog's-tooth violet.

Pair these match-made-in-heaven spring plants together.

Dog's-Tooth Violet Care Must-Knows

Dog's-tooth violet grows best in part shade or shade and moist soil rich in organic matter. Plant these tiny corms 2 to 3 inches deep and 4 to 5 inches apart in fall. This is a deeper planting depth than you might expect for such a small bulb, but it is necessary for this plant to overwinter well.

Dog's-tooth violet blooms in early to mid-spring. Expect the perennial's mottled, deep-green foliage to die back in midsummer and reappear the following spring. Plants will maintain their foliage longer in moist soil.

See more plants that deer won't bother.

More Varieties of Dog's-Tooth Violet

'Pagoda' dog's tooth violet

This cultivar is a cross between two native North American species that produces up to five golden-yellow flowers on each stem. The petals on Erythronium 'Pagoda' reflex to reveal a reddish ring at the base and bloom in mid- to late spring. The leaves are thick and veined in whitish green. It grows 1 foot tall. Zones 3-8

'Purple King' dog's tooth violet

Erythronium dens-canis 'Purple King' bears reflexed flowers that resemble large cyclamen, with their fuchsia coloring and reddish-brown-throated base. It grows 5 inches tall. Zones 3-8

Trout lily

Erythronium americanum is a North American native wildflower that produces clusters of golden flowers reversed in purplish brown on leafless stems sprouting from mottled foliage. It grows 10 inches tall. Zones 3-8

Oops, we're sorry. Something went wrong. Please try again later.
Oops, we're sorry. Something went wrong. Please try again later.
Share your take on this idea!
Upload your photo here.
CLOSE
close
close
close
close
close

Loading... Please wait...

Add My Photo close
I Did It!
Share on Facebook
Uh oh! Please pick a jpg at least 600x600px.
Share on Facebook
Uh oh! Your photo failed to upload. Please try again or visit your profile.
No one has shared their photo yet.
close