Dogtooth violet-Erythronium dens-canis

imageFig. 38.

drawing from:

Today morning walk with our dog  was a canine one.Since I was a kid I kept wondering where the name for Dogtooth violet came, there is obviously nothing resembling dog on this tiny pale burgundy-violet  flower on elegant long stem with marbled brown-violet-light green leaves.Early flowers are hard to find , but when it gets warmer you won’t miss lila carpets in woods.I remember us kids picking them for small bouquets, carrying them proudly despite the dark violet pollen all ower our little arms.

The name cames from plants  cormous  rootstocks-they are white, oblong, looking like dogs tooth-perhaps the reason for the same name in all languages. Although they are not true violets but come from  Liliaceae species. Dogtooth violet is native to Europe, with mostly dark pink,pale violet flowers and occasional rare white ones.In America even yellow ones can be found.It grows in semi shadow of southern European woods, likes acid soil, propagates with bulbs and seeds which are spread with help of ants.

And a-propos my canine walk with our Charlie-the dog didn’t care for the dogtooth violet even a bit, what a shame….……

Erythronium dens-canis
Erythronium dens-canis (right)
and Anemone hepatica ( left)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
Order: Liliales
Family: Liliaceae
Genus: Erythronium
Species: E. dens-canis
Binomial name
Erythronium dens-canis







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