Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Adder's Tounge

Adder's Tongue(Erythronium americanum) is also known as Trout Lily or Dogtooth Violet. A magical herb which is actually a member of the lily family. You will find these beauties forming very large colonies in moist rich woods. Their leaves give them away the shape is of an Adder's Tongue and does look very reptilian. The molting also looks similar to a trout's markings.
Adder's Tongue also has a Magic history in literature.

In Macbeth (IV, i, 14-15)
2nd Witch
"Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork, and howelt's wing--
For a charm of trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble."
- Shakespeare

In Ben Jonson's Masque of Queens
in this verse
"I ha' been plucking, plants among,
Hemlock, henbane, adder's tongue,
Night shade, moonwort, libbard's-bane."

Adder' Tongue can be found in speciality bulb catalogs. They come in yellow, pink and white forms. I don't suggest digging them from the wild. After all their name is Adder's Tongue so be careful!


  1. Love this one. Another plant for me to hunt down!!! :)


  2. They are quite plentiful in some of the woods around here, especially in the nature centers, where they haven't been disturbed. I had some in my former native plant habitat that I bought at one of the nature center's plant sales. They grow native species from seeds gathered in a responsible manner, in their green houses, then sell them to the public for their personal gardens! Perfect for everyone1

    Thanks for sharing this delightful woodland flower!