DOG'S-TOOTH-VIOLET

DOG'S-TOOTH

Erythronium dens-canis

Lily Family [Liliaceae]

month8apr month6april month8apr month8april month8may

status
statusZalien
flower
flower8mauve flower8pink flower8lilac
inner
inner8yellow
inner
inner8white
morph
morph8actino
petals
petalsZ6
type
typeZspurred
stem
stem8round

Spring, Lakeside path, Coniston, Cumbria Photo: © Anne Saxon
The single flowers atop a stalk always droop downwards, and could be mistaken from afar for a cyclamen such as Sowbread which are a similar colour, height and also droop downwards.


10th May 2013, Catalonia, Eastern Pyrenees, Spain. Photo: © Dawn Nelson
Has a couple of opposite canoe-shaped leaves at the base of a single stem. A single flower droops slightly downward atop a reddish, slightly hairy, round stem. Up to 30cm tall. The flower has six long narrow petals (actually tepals) purple/mauve in colour and reflexed backwards to reveal a single long white style and six shorter white-tipped pointed anthers.


10th May 2013, Catalonia, Eastern Pyrenees, Spain. Photo: © Dawn Nelson
The leaves are dark greyish-green blotched dark beetroot-red.


Not to be semantically confused with : Violets or Dog-Violets such as Common-Dog Violet (Viola riviniana) [plants with similar names but belonging to a totally different family (Violaceae)] - which have bi-lateral (zygomorphic) symmetry rather than radial symmetry. Nor either with Dog Rose (Rosa canina) nor with Dog's Mercury (Mercurianis perennis), nor with Dame's Violet (Hesperis matronalis), a Cabbage Family plant.

It is an introduced plant that is naturalised from wooded gardens where it is planted. It is not a violet, but rather belongs to the Lily Family (Liliaceae). Like all liliaceae plants it grows from a bulb, which in Italy are harvested for the starch from which vermicelli is made. Grows in lightly shaded deciduous woodland or other damp habitats.

In the UK, there is only one plant in this Genus.

Part of the scientific name is derived from the Ancient Greek erythros meaning red.


  Erythronium dens-canis  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Liliaceae  

Distribution
 family8Lily family8Liliaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Erythronium
Erythronium
(Dog's-tooth-Violet)

DOG'S-TOOTH VIOLET

DOG'S-TOOTH

Erythronium dens-canis

Lily Family [Liliaceae]