Overview

Distribution

Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Erythronium mesochoreum Knerr:
United States (North America)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Erythronium albidum var. mesochoreum (Knerr) Rickett:
United States (North America)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Erythronium albidum var. coloratum Sterns:
United States (North America)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Ark., Ill., Iowa, Kans., Mo., Nebr., Okla., Tex.
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National Distribution

United States

Origin: Unknown/Undetermined

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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Global Range: IA, NE s to MO & OK; (IA & NE s to TX) (Flora of the Great Plains, 1986).

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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

Bulbs ovoid to ± globose, 10–25 mm; stolons absent; flowering plants reproducing vegetatively by droppers or offshoots. Leaves 5–14 cm; blade green, usually not mottled, elliptic-lanceolate to ovate-lanceolate, conduplicate, glaucous, base and margins sometimes purple-brown, margins even. Scape 5–15 cm. Inflorescences 1-flowered. Flowers: tepals spreading at anthesis, white, tinged pink, blue, or lavender abaxially, with yellow adaxial spot at base, lanceolate, 15–30 mm, auricles absent; stamens 8–15 mm; filaments yellow, lanceolate; anthers yellow; pollen yellow; style white, 7–10 mm; stigma lobes recurving, 1–1.5 mm. Capsules resting on ground at maturity due to reclining peduncle, obovoid, 10–15 mm, apex rounded to faintly apiculate or umbilicate. 2n = 22.
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Diagnostic Description

Synonym

Erythronium albidum Nuttall var. coloratum Sterns; E. albidum var. mesochoreum (Knerr) Rickett
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Type Information

Type collection for Erythronium mesochoreum Knerr
Catalog Number: US 517743
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Verification Degree: Card file verified by examination of original publication
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): E. B. Knerr
Year Collected: 1892
Locality: Atchison, Kansas, United States, North America
  • Type collection: Knerr, E. B. 1892. Checklist Pl. Kansas. 26.
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Ecology

Habitat

Prairies, glades, dry, open woods, occasionally pastures; 100--700m.
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Comments: Prairies & open woods, occasionally found in cut-over woods (Flora of the Great Plains, 1986).

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Associations

Flower-Visiting Insects of Prairie Trout Lily in Illinois

Erythronium mesochoreum (Prairie Trout Lily)
(bees collect pollen or suck nectar; observations are from Michener & Rettenmeyer and Krombein et al. as indicated below)

Bees (long-tongued)
Apidae (Apinae): Apis mellifera (MR)

Bees (short-tongued)
Andrenidae (Andreninae): Andrena erythronii cp olg (MR, Kr)

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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Flowering/Fruiting

Flowering spring.
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G4 - Apparently Secure

Reasons: This species is found throughtout the central and southern Great Plains, but no abundance information is available.

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Notes

Comments

Because stolons are absent in Erythronium mesochoreum, most plants in a population produce flowers; nonflowering plants may sometimes appear after flowering plants have flowered. This species is well adapted to prairie fires. The seeds have elaiosomes, and ants may act as dispersal agents (Great Plains Flora Association 1986). C. C. Deam et al. (1941) reported E. mesochoreum from Indiana, but an examination of the specimens cited, now at IND, showed that these are E. albidum. E. L. Braun (1967) reported that many populations of E. albidum in southwestern Ohio indicate introgression with “the Ozarkean var. mesochoreum….” However, personal observation by K. R. Robertson of several Ohio populations in flower confirmed that these plants are true E. albidum, although they occur in prairies and have more or less conduplicate leaves.
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