poetry and prose about place

spring wildflowers – Trout Lily

with 5 comments

On a drive to Sussex yesterday, we found Trout Lily blooming in many ditches along the back roads.


Trout Lily is an herbaceous colonial plant, covering slopes in rich, moist hardwoods. The plant is also known as Dog’s Tooth Violet, Yellow Adder’s-tongue, Fawn-lily, and in French, ail doux. The yellow lily-like flowers bloom in New Brunswick in May. The leaves are mottled in maroon and green. The young leaves and bulb-like ‘corm’ are edible but should only be gathered if the plants are abundant, to conserve the species.



trout lily

(Erythronium americanum Ker)


On a hike in the hardwood

north of the Dunbar Stream

you discover Trout Lily profusion


Mottled purple leaves overlap

as the scales of adder or dragon

You know these plants as edible


the leaves a salad, or pot-herb

and, deep underground, the corm

flavoured like garlic


You fall to your knees

to dig, to gather, and



examine your motives

You, with two granola bars in your knapsack

and a bottle of water from Ontario



(published as ‘trout lily’ in “within easy reach“, 2016, Chapel Street Editions)




Copyright Jane Tims 2017

5 Responses

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  1. This is lovely, Jane. The photography, your knowledge of the species, your art work, all combine with your poetry to make this a feast for the various senses. You are a great artist.

    Liked by 1 person


    May 14, 2017 at 4:08 pm

    • Hi Roger. Totally artist today as I am painting the Stand-up aliens for my book launch! Thanks for the compliment! Congrats on the St. Andrews appointment! You will have so much fun. I love starting a new project and yours is awesome! Jane

      Liked by 1 person

      jane tims

      May 14, 2017 at 4:18 pm

      • Thanks, Jane. I’m tied up in knots at the moment. Too much happening. I’ll tell you all about it when we meet.

        Liked by 1 person


        May 14, 2017 at 4:41 pm

  2. Love your drawing, the poem, and your book (“within easy reach“), Jane. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person


    May 14, 2017 at 3:56 pm

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