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Dogtooth violet

Author: Dr Marius Rademaker, Dermatologist, Hamilton, New Zealand,1999.

Common name: Dogtooth Violet
Botanical name: Erythronium americanum, Erythronium dens canis
Family: Lilaceae (division Magnoliophyta, class Liliatae, order Liliopsida, family Liliaceae).
Origin: Europe(Erythronium dens canis) and America.
Description: A lily-like yellow flower.
dogtooth violet
Uses: Ornamental flower.
Allergens: Tulipalin A (alpha-methylene-gamma-butyrolactone)
Allergy: Finger tip allergic contact dermatitis has been reported in growers and florists.
Cross reactions: Tulip, Alstroemeria, Bomarea, Dioscorea hispida, Gagea, and Fritillaria.
Other information: It is not a violet. Dogtooth Violet refers to the shape of the white bulb of the plant. The names adder's-tongue and trout, fawn, snow, and glacier lily are also used interchangeably for the American species.
Patch test:  



  • Guin JD, Franks H. Fingertip dermatitis in a retail florist. Cutis 2001 Apr;67(4):328-30.
  • Mitchell JC, Rook A, 1979, Botanical Dermatology, Plants and Plant products injurious to the skin, Greengrass, Vancouver.
  • Diamond KB, Warren GR, Cardellina JH 2nd. Native American food and medicinal plants. 3. alpha-Methylene butyrolactone from Erythronium grandiflorum Pursh. J Ethnopharmacol 1985 Sep;14(1):99-101.


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