The budding of the rare and endangered forest wildflower, the Dwarf Trout Lily (Erythronium propullans), only grows in in this area and nowhere else on the entire planet.
Each spring, folks search for the tiny flower in the river bottoms, also in state parks and along trails.
Concern this year is due to the effect of flooding and the deposit of sand on some of the known colonies.
The Dwarf Trout Lily is only about six inches tall with four to six petals that may be pale pink to whitish, about the size of a dime as compared to the larger Trout Lily which has a flower size of about a quarter.
It is found on fewer than 600 acres of woodland habitat, rich slopes that are dominated by maple and basswood and adjoining floodplains dominated by elm and cottonwood. It grows before the deciduous trees develop their leaves and in approximately three weeks it has bloomed, generated its food reserves for the coming year and disappeared.
"The Minnesota dwarf trout lily possesses a genetic and chemical makeup unlike that of any other plant... (and) is potentially valuable to all of us... (as) ingredients in medicines and other useful products." It is listed as federally endangered with a penalty for violation set at $25,000. (Information from Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.)
For more information look at the video on www.paulrosie.com or contact Paul and Rosie Schluter, email@example.com or Pat Anderson at the Cannon Falls Chamber of Commerce, www.cannonfalls.org.