Flora of the Southeastern United States
2022 Edition

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Key to Erythronium

1 Perianth white (sometimes pinkish or bluish).
..2 Tepals strongly reflexed at anthesis; leaf blade mottled, 1.3-4.0 cm wide, flat or nearly so; capsules held erect; [usually of mesic forests]
..2 Tepals spreading at anthesis (or the outer somewhat reflexed); leaf blade usually unmottled, 0.5-2.0 cm wide, folded and V-shaped in ×-section; capsules resting on the ground; [usually of dry or dry-mesic woodlands, prairies, and glades]
1 Perianth yellow.
....3 Petals (inner tepals) lacking auricles near their bases; capsule and ovary distinctly indented (umbilicate) at apex (or rarely truncate in E. umbilicatum ssp. monostolum, or the ovary when young not yet displaying the apical indentation); mature capsules usually reclining on ground, with the apex downward; stolons 0-1 per bulb; anthers usually lavender, brown, cinnamon, or purple (sometimes yellow).
......4 Horizontal stolons 1 per bulb; flecking on perianth segments slight to strong; perianth margins slightly irregular (though not auricled); stigma lobes long; pale spot on adaxial side of perianth segments always present, small to large, usually pale yellow; [at high elevations in the Southern Appalachians]
......4 Horizontal stolons 0 per bulb; flecking on perianth segments absent to slight; perianth margins entire, smooth; stigma lobes short; pale spot on adaxial side of perianth segments usually present, small to medium, usually white; [of lower to mid elevations, relatively widespread in our region, VA, WV, and KY south to GA, Panhandle FL, and AL]
....3 Petals (inner tepals) with auricles near their bases (the auricles very small lobes, < 1 mm long, bent inwards); capsule and ovary truncate, rounded, apiculate, or beaked at apex; mature capsules usually held well off ground, the apex oriented horizontally or ascending; stolons usually (1-) 2-5 per bulb; anthers usually yellow (rarely brown or lavender).
........5 Capsule distinctly beaked at the apex; petals (inner tepals) with well-developed auricles at the base, each encircling a filament
........5 Capsule truncate, rounded, or apiculate at the apex; petals (inner tepals) with small auricles at the base, not encircling a filament.
..........6 Capsule apiculus absent or poorly developed
..........6 Capsule apiculus well developed