Erythronium grandiflorum Pursh
Yellow Avalanche-lily, Yellow Fawn-lily, Yellow Dogtooth Violet, Glacier Lily
Liliaceae (Lily Family)
USDA Symbol: ERGR9
Two to three mottled, fleshy, elliptic, basal leaves, to 14 in. long, surround the one- to several-flowered 6-18 in. flower stalks. 1-5 pale to golden yellow flowers hang at end of a stalk that grows from between 2 broadly lanceolate basal leaves. One to five graceful, nodding, bell-shaped flowers are bright yellow. The sepals and petals are bent back fully, revealing the large, white stigma and yellow, red or white anthers. Yellow avlanche-lily, a perennial, often occurs in large patches.
This species often blooms as snow recedes. A form with white or cream petal-like segments with a band of golden yellow at the base grows in southeastern Washington and adjacent Idaho. A second species with bright yellow flowers. Mother Lode Fawn Lily (E. tuolumnense), grows in woodland at low elevations on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada in central California.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 18 inches tall.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Yellow
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul
DistributionUSA: CA , CO , ID , MT , NM , OR , UT , WA , WY
Native Distribution: N. CA to CO, n. to s. B.C. & Alt.
Native Habitat: Open woods; meadow edges; various altitudes
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil Description: Moist soils.
Conditions Comments: This species is not easily maintained west of the Cascades. Plants from lowland stock are more easily established, and will often self-seed. Corms need protection from gophers. Var. candidum, occuring from e. WA to w. MT, has white flowers.
PropagationDescription: Propagate using offsets or seed. Plant seeds 1/4 in. deep. A single leaf will appear the first spring. Keep the developing plant shaded and moist and, if necessary, transplant the corms to permanent locations in the fall. Seedlings take at least three
Seed Collection: The oval, three-sided capsule matures two months after flowering.
Seed Treatment: Stratify seed at 40 degrees for 3-4 months if not sown immediately.
Commercially Avail: yes
Find Seed or Plants
Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.
View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.
National Wetland Indicator Status
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR
Web ReferenceWebref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter
From the ArchiveWildflower Newsletter 1995 VOL. 12, NO.5 - Water Recycling Utilizing Architecture at the Wildflower Center, Education Direc...
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Erythronium grandiflorum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Erythronium grandiflorum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Erythronium grandiflorum
MetadataRecord Modified: 2023-02-09
Research By: TWC Staff