The green links below add additional plants to the comparison table. Blue links lead to other Web sites.
enable glossary links
Erythronium montanum

avalanche-lily, white avalanche-lily, white glacier lily

dogtooth fawn lily, glacier-lily, yellow avalanche-lily, yellow fawn-lily, yellow glacier lily

Bulbs

narrowly ovoid, 25–60 mm.

slender, 30–50 mm.

Leaves

10–20 cm;

blade green, ovate to broadly lanceolate, base ± abruptly narrowed to petiole, margins wavy.

5–20 cm;

blade green, lanceolate, ± glaucous, base gradually narrowed to petiole, margins ± wavy.

Scape

12–35 cm.

5–30 cm.

Inflorescences

1–3-flowered.

usually 1-flowered, sometimes up to 5-flowered.

Flowers

tepals white to creamy white with bright yellow zone at base, broadly ovate to broadly lanceolate, 25–45 mm, inner wider than outer, auriculate at base, length less than 4 times width;

stamens 12–24 mm;

filaments white, linear, slender, less than 0.8 mm wide;

anthers bright yellow;

style white, 13–25 mm;

stigma with slender, usually recurved lobes 1–5 mm.

tepals recurved, bright yellow with (in live specimens) narrow paler zone at base, or white to creamy white with yellow base, narrowly ovate, 20–35 mm, length at least 4 times width, inner usually auriculate at base;

stamens 11–18 mm;

filaments white, ± slender, linear, less than 0.8 mm wide;

anthers cream, yellow, red, or purplish red;

pollen yellow or red;

style white, 10–15 mm;

stigma unlobed or with slender, recurved lobes (1–)2–4 mm.

Capsules

oblong, 3–6 cm.

oblong to narrowly obovoid, 2–5 cm.

2n

= 24.

= 24.

Erythronium montanum

Erythronium grandiflorum

Phenology Flowering summer, usually soon after snowmelt (Jun–Aug).
Habitat Montane and subalpine meadows, open coniferous forests
Elevation (300–)800–2000 m ((1000–)2600–6600 ft)
Distribution
from FNA
OR; WA; BC
[WildflowerSearch map]
[BONAP county map]
from USDA
w North America
[WildflowerSearch map]
[BONAP county map]
Discussion

This species occurs in the Coast Ranges of southern British Columbia, and disjunctly to southern Vancouver Island, the Olympic Peninsula, and Cascade Mountains from Mount Rainier National Park in Washington to central Oregon.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

Subspecies 2 (2 in the flora).

This beautiful species is often very abundant in mountain meadows of western North America, especially in the Rocky Mountains, where it may form spectacular displays. It is often difficult to grow in cultivation outside its preferred habitats. Bulbs of this species were a staple food for native North American peoples of several tribes, and were eaten in large quantities and also traded. Within the typical subspecies, both anthers and pollen vary considerably in color; plants with pale anthers have been called var. pallidum, and forms with yellow anthers, var. chrysandrum. Plants possessing very short stigma lobes and lacking auricles on the tepals have been recognized as var. nudipetalum, but they do not appear sufficiently distinct to warrant taxonomic recognition and may simply represent depauperate forms.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

Key
1. Tepals white to creamy white, with yellow zone at base; anthers cream to yellow.
subsp. candidum
1. Tepals bright yellow, with narrow paler zone at base; anthers cream, yellow, red, or purplish red.
subsp. grandiflorum
Source FNA vol. 26, p. 157. FNA vol. 26, p. 156.
Parent taxa Liliaceae > Erythronium Liliaceae > Erythronium
Sibling taxa
E. albidum, E. americanum, E. californicum, E. citrinum, E. elegans, E. grandiflorum, E. helenae, E. hendersonii, E. klamathense, E. mesochoreum, E. multiscapideum, E. oregonum, E. pluriflorum, E. propullans, E. purpurascens, E. pusaterii, E. quinaultense, E. revolutum, E. rostratum, E. taylorii, E. tuolumnense, E. umbilicatum
E. albidum, E. americanum, E. californicum, E. citrinum, E. elegans, E. helenae, E. hendersonii, E. klamathense, E. mesochoreum, E. montanum, E. multiscapideum, E. oregonum, E. pluriflorum, E. propullans, E. purpurascens, E. pusaterii, E. quinaultense, E. revolutum, E. rostratum, E. taylorii, E. tuolumnense, E. umbilicatum
Subordinate taxa
E. grandiflorum subsp. candidum, E. grandiflorum subsp. grandiflorum
Name authority S. Watson: Proc. Amer. Acad. Arts 26: 130. (1891) Pursh: Fl. Amer. Sept. 1: 231. (1814)
Web links