Yellow Trout Lily is another woodland wildflower that begins blooming here in mid-March. This photo Jo took on March 17, is one of the very first trout lily blooms we saw in 2011. The trout lily's common name is based upon its mottled leaves. (Here is a previous post with a photo that shows leaves.)
Trout lilies are also known as Dog-toothed Violets. The numerous rhizomes on the bottom of its root could resemble a dog's jaw and canine teeth if you've got a good imagination. However, it is a member of the lily family and not a violet. Both leaves and roots are supposedly edible, although I've never been hungry enough to give either a try.
Yellow Troutlily is much less widely distributed than it's long, red-anthered cousin Erythronium americanum. It is limited to the Ozark Mountains and a few other isolated pockets in the south-central United States. Unlike the other members of its genus, E. rostratum has erect rather than nodding flowers.