Beautiful Native Wild Flowers04/15/19
This trout lily is one of the wildflowers that grow at Deer Park. The pairs of leaves that first appear in early spring are gray-green with spots, and look a little like the back of a rainbow trout. The yellow, pagoda-like flowers are noticeable against the brown leaves at the base of oak trees, their favorite home. Trout lilies are some of the spring ephemerals, wildflowers that appear and are gone in a matter of weeks. They can only be seen for a short time when the sun reaches them before the trees leaf out and shade them, and before other plants wake up and begin using the nutrients in the soil. Once the hotter, drier weather of summer comes, trout lilies go to sleep–the flowers and leaves disappear until next spring. And since they don’t flower until the plant is 4 to 7 years old, seeing one in bloom is rare, though once a colony of trout lilies is established, they will live quite a long time. As members of the lily family, they grow from a little bulb and the Lenape people, the Native Americans who once lived around Deer Park, gathered these bulbs for food.