Ellen has been gardening with and appreciating native plants for eleven years in north metro Atlanta. She is especially fond of native shrubs and trees but is willing to learn to love herbaceous plants as well. Helping others to see the beauty and versatility of Georgia's native plants, whether it be in the wild or in the garden, is both a passion and a compulsion -- just ask her kids! Ellen is an active member of the Georgia Native Plant Society and the Georgia Botanical Society. She uses her personal blog, usinggeorgianativeplants.blogspot.com, to share seasonal ideas and pictures about native plants in her area.

Recent Blog Posts

May 19
Plants for Soggy Places  

Mar 31
Signs of Spring   (1 comment)

Feb 28
Hooray for the Lilies of Spring  

Jan 21

Dec 12
A Southern Christmas Tree  

Nov 01
The Colors of Fall  

Sep 30
Goldenrod - Good for Gardens  

Aug 28
Clematis virginiana - the REAL one   (2 comments)




Hooray for the Lilies of Spring
by Ellen Honeycutt - posted 02/28/13

I hope the last few days of winter are slipping away. When I go outside, that hope is strengthened. Early trees and shrubs, like the southern crabapple (Malus angustifolia), are budding out. Some perennials have green foliage already, like Stokes's aster (Stokesia laevis).


But the really cheerful sight is the appearance of the spring members of the lily family (Liliaceae). The very early ones appearing now include trout lily (Erythronium umbilicatum), a delightful miniature lily with speckled leaves. Sometime known as fawn lily, the bright yellow petals are a welcome surprise in February.


Erythronium umbilicatum

Not long after trout lilies appear, and sometimes at the same time, trilliums force their way through the dried leaves of the forest floor. Named for their 3 parts (3 leaves, 3 petals, 3 sepals), trilliums come in a range of forms and colors. The first to appear are the sessile trilliums (meaning their flower sits directly on the petals) such as this sweet Betsy trillium (Trillium cuneatum).

Trillium cuneatum

Other spring lilies that might be lesser known are the native hyacinth (Camassia scilloides) and Clinton's lily (Clintonia umbellulata).

I hope you will keep your eyes peeled for some of these special native spring lilies.


Camassia scilloides

Clintonia umbellulata




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