Yellow Trout Lily (Erythronium americanum) is a beautiful spring flower that blooms along the creeks here at Bernheim Forest. It produces a single flower in early spring, and it can take up to 8 years before individual plants will flower in the forest.
Once the lily flowers, its anthers (the part of the stamen that produces pollen) can range in color from yellow to brick red. It is unclear why there is a variation in the anther color, but Bernheim is participating in the Trout Lily Project to learn more. Volunteers from across the trout lily range have been submitting their observations on the anther colors to determine possible trends in the color variations. Last year was the first year for the project and so far about 100 citizen scientists have been a part of the project. There are many opportunities for volunteers to help out scientists in studying the natural world around us, and this is just one example.