Erythronium propullans

Common Names:
dwarf trout lily, dwarfadder's tongue, fawn lily, Minnesota adder's tongue, Minnesota fawn lily, Minnesota trout-lily
Growth Habit:
CPC Number:
Profile Contributors:
Dawn M. Gerlica and Lindsey Parsons
Fully Sponsored

Reference Links

ITIS - Tropicos - USDA Plants - Fish & WildLife

Participating Institutions

The following Participating Institutions are custodians for this species in the CPC National Collection:
The Holden Arboretum

The conservation of Erythronium propullans is fully sponsored.
Dawn M. Gerlica and Lindsey Parsons contributed to this Plant Profile.


This plant is a spring ephemeral, showing itself in only fourteen populations in the woods of Minnesota during the months of April and May and disappearing from sight by early June. This plant is a mystery, as it is very rarely found producing seeds. It grows from a bulb with an underground vegetative runner, and only 1/10th of the population reproduces each year. (USFWS 1986a)

This lily has the tapering, lightly mottled green/gray leaves typical of trout lilies. The longer leaf can be 1-2cm broad, with a general range of 1-3cm. These leaves are found in pairs when in bloom and single when not. The flowers of this species, when produced, are very small. They have four to six white petals and are about 8-14mm in diameter (less than dime sized when open). Petal colors can range from pink, to pale violet, to an almost flesh tone, to white, to gray white, with 4 to 6 petals. A traditional set of 6 petals is unusual. Only 12% of the population has this. Stamen are heteromorphic, and usually of unequal length. The fruit, when produced, is 4.5-9mm long. Unlike other species of trout lily in the same region, the fruit of this species remains nodding instead of becoming erect. This plant appears to reproduce most often from vegetative offshoots, which appear at a distance from the plant, not right next to it.

Distribution & Occurrence


Conservation, Ecology & Research