Dogtooth Violet

Genus Erythronium
Lily Family (Liliaceae)

Dogtooth Violet
(Erythronium grandiflorum)

This is one of the earliest and best known of our spring flowers. It blooms just as the snow is melting, blooming early in April on our lower foothills and late in the summer in our high alpine areas.

The plant grows about 8 inches tall. The flower has 3 petals and 3 sepals (all six look alike). They curl back from the drooping blossom, exposing the stamens.

Plant about 8 inches tall,
    with bright yellow petals

The flowers cover the
   hillsides as the snow melts

Since it is such a favorite, it has many common names. In this area, it is usually called a dogtooth violet, although it is a member of the lily family (not a violet at all).

Some other common names are:
  Glacier Lily
  Trout Lily
  Adder's Tongue
  Fawn Lily
  Snow Lily

Big Cottonwood Canyon
Wasatch Mountains
Salt Lake County, Utah


by Sandra Bray
May 2003