Friday, February 24, 2012

Piedmont NWR: The First Dimpled Troutlily (Erythronium umbilicatum) Of Spring

February 11th, 2012. We’ve had a really warm winter compared with a normal year. Only a couple of nights in the 20s F, so we’ve been guessing that we’d have to get out sooner this year to see some of the early Spring wildflowers. One of the wildflowers we wanted to see was the Dimpled Troutlily (Erythronium umbilicatum) that we’d found in midMarch last year in a small area near Allison Creek in the Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge in Jones County, Georgia. They had almost finished blooming then so we wanted to catch them a little earlier this year. And we certainly accomplished that.

We arrived at the location and hopped out of the car. I have to confess that, momentarily, I had forgotten what the leaves looked like so I had to wander around before I found one. And then I spotted them.

Just a couple of their very distinctive leaves. And then, as we wandered around, we found them all over a small area at the edge of the woods on a ledge above a small creek.

A nice patch of leaves. It didn’t look like any were blooming and then we spotted…

a few plants in the bare earth; two with buds and a third with a bloom just starting to open. They were difficult to see; we almost missed them and would have if we hadn’t been walking bent over to scan the ground.

A closer view of one of the buds, and…

of the flower beginning to open.

And then, off to the left – about a foot away – another flower that had opened a little further.

A closer view of the opening flower.

In a little while, they’ll look like this, and…

this, and…

this. These shots were taken in the same area on March 12th, 2011.

These blooms can also be seen in several locations at the Davidson-Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve in DeKalb County – near the start of the the Bradley Mountain Trail and along the RR and the Lake Loop Trails.

Three Erythronium species with yellow flowers - Erythronium americanum (Dogtooth Violet), Erythronium umbilicatum (Dimpled Troutlily), and Erythronium rostratum (Yellow Troutlily) occur in the southeastern United States. Only Erythronium umbilicatum subspecies monostolum and umbilicatum have been documented to occur in many counties in the Georgia Piedmont.

Click on an image to view a larger image


United States Department of Agriculture Plants Database:

- Erythronium umbilicatum ssp. monostolum (Dimpled Troutlily)

- Erythronium umbilicatum ssp. umbilicatum (Dimpled Troutlily)

University of North Carolina Herbarium:

- Erythronium umbilicatum
ssp. monostolum

- Erythronium umbilicatum
ssp. umbilicatum

Identification Resources

- Southeastern Flora:
Erythronium umbilicatum (Dimpled Troutlily)

- Natural and Naturalized Plants of the Carolinas and Georgia:

- Erythronium umbilicatum ssp. monostolum (Southern Appalachian Trout Lily)

- Erythronium umbilicatum ssp. umbilicatum (Dimpled Trout Lily, Dogtooth Violet)

Related post:
- Davidson-Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve: Bradley Mountain Trail (Part 1)


Kay G. said...

"Near the start of the Bradley Mountain Trail"...where exactly should I look for them? We go to walk there quite frequently, I would love to see them.

JSK said...

Kay. As you enter the Bradley Mtn Trail from the parking area - through the information area, you walk up a few steps. There's a ditch on the left hand side. Just past there, on the left, there's a small area of plants right by the trail before you go out onto the rock. We visited on April 2, 2011 and they'd finished blooming then. They might be starting to bloom now or it might still be a little early yet. Piedmont NWR is several hundred feet lower than Atlanta, so a little warmer. On the other hand, Davidson-Arabia preserve might be in the Atlanta heat island. I'd think sometime in the next few weeks will work. I've added a link to that walk in the related posts at the end of this post now.

Kay G. said...

We saw the flowers also all around the pond area which is just to the right of where you begin the walk up Bradley Mountain...there were also some in the land between the parking lot and the main road...they were everywhere and many of them were very much bloomed out! Thank you!

JSK said...

Great! I didn't poke around too much since we were on our way out after a couple of hours on the mountain and they're harder to see when the leaves are all that are visible.
About time I got back over there.