Erythronium (Fawn Lily)

Erythronium is a genus of about 30 species of bulbous perennials in the family Liliaceae. Most of the species are native to North America, except Erythronium dens-canis which is native to Central and Southern Europe.
Members of this genus have attractive, pendent flowers and mottled leaves, often with bizarre colors or patterns. They are easy to grow and popular in gardens.

Name meaning:

The genus name comes from the Greek word “erythrus”, which means “red”, referring to the reddish flowers of Erythronium dens-canis.

The plant is also known as “Fawn Lily”. This common name comes from its leaves, which look a bit like a fawn’s back.

Erythronium symbolism:

Erythronium symbolizes friendship and protection.

Interesting facts about Erythronium:

Yellow Trout Lily (Erythronium americanum) and its Symbiotic Relationship With Ants

Erythronium americanum, also known as Yellow Trout Lily, Yellow Adder’s Tongue or Yellow Dogtooth Violet, is a myrmecochorous plant.
The plant has a symbiotic relationship with ants, a partnership known as myrmecochory. Myrmecochory is one such mechanism, where ants serve as dispersal agents. It is a mutualistic interaction in which ants receive a protein-rich food reward in return for dispersing plant seeds.

Related Genera

As a genus, Erythronium is most closely related to Tulipa and Rubus.

Benefits and Uses

The plant’s root was once considered to be an aphrodisiac.

Plant Type:

Bulbs, Perennials


The flowers come in shades of yellow, purple, pink, red and white.