The Connection Between the Trout Lily and You

There is a strong connection with the trout lily—what? You’ve never heard of the trout lily? If not, you’re probably wondering how you relate to this flower native to the northeast. This week’s list of flowers and vines point to the northeastern United States, and during my research I discovered Erythronium, the trout lily.
The connection? We, at “Writing Prompts & Thoughts & Ideas…Oh My!” believe many of the greatest story ideas originate from simple objects or thoughts. The single spark of a word can ignite a fiery best-seller. For you, it could be the trout lily. Erythronium, also known as the fawn lily, dog’s-tooth violet, or adder’s-tongue, is a perennial which blooms in the spring. The tiny plant, which only grows six to ten inches high, has multiple uses. Its practicality appealed to the writer in me. The bulb is edible as a root vegetable, while its leaves can be cooked like mustard greens or Polk salad. The bulb can also be dried and ground as flour or used as a starch. Talk about subject matter to benefit your next Early American historical! All from this insignificant-looking plant.

 We encourage you to bypass the mundane, the everyday words and stretch your imagination and vocabulary. Move from the comfortable, but limited space of the commonplace, to the endless collection of the unusual and remarkable.
So the next time you need a flower for your handsome suitor to present to his beautiful future wife, don’t think of the trout lily. She might throw it back in his face. Of course, that would bring humor to your story. Once he explains the significance of the trout lily, she could fall more in love—or not. Could the next best-seller be “A Trout Lily Wins Her Heart?”

This week’s writing prompt: She stared at the small yellow trout lily before pitching…

For more on the trout lily, check out these links:
Flowers of the Northeast
New England aster
Blazing star [Liatris]
Wild Sarsaparilla
Indian Pipe
Eastern skunk cabbage
Lady slipper
Jack in the pulpit
Mountain laurel
White fringed orchid
Trout Lily
Northeastern Vines and Parasitic Plants
Morning glory
Poison ivy
Coconut palm
True sago palm
Real fan palm
Oil palm
Date palm
Dwarf palmetto
Areca palm
Royal palms

2 thoughts on “The Connection Between the Trout Lily and You

  1. We called it a Dog's Tooth Violet when I was growing up. Good thing I didn't know it was edible back then. This would certainly be an interesting addition to a story, used in the right context. A basket of trout lilies, anyone?

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