Now’s the time to see nature’s flower garden before the trees fully leaf-out and block the sunlight reaching the forest floor. Blooming trout lilies are a sure sign of spring and we were delighted when the trout lily in our backyard in Toronto (below) bloomed for the first time this year—typical for trout lilies, we had to wait five years.
Trout lilies grow from bulbs called corms; they also spread runners up to 25 centimetres through the soil to create new bulbs. These cloned corms send up their own leaves in spring. The process repeats itself year after year, decade after decade, forming extensive subterranean networks that help hold the soil together. Some trout lily patches are up to 300 years old.
Read more about the amazing life of trout lilies on page 385 of The Complete Up North.