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Erythronium grandiflorum (Yellow avalanche-lily)
Cressler, Alan

Erythronium grandiflorum

Erythronium grandiflorum Pursh

Yellow Avalanche-lily, Yellow Fawn-lily, Yellow Dogtooth Violet, Glacier Lily

Liliaceae (Lily Family)


USDA Symbol: ERGR9

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

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

53 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 18 inches tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Yellow
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul


USA: CA , CO , ID , MT , NM , OR , UT , WA , WY
Canada: AB
Native Distribution: N. CA to CO, n. to s. B.C. & Alt.
Native Habitat: Open woods; meadow edges; various altitudes

Growing Conditions

Light 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.


Description: 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

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR

Web Reference

Webref 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 Archive

Wildflower Newsletter 1995 VOL. 12, NO.5 - Water Recycling Utilizing Architecture at the Wildflower Center, Education Direc...

Additional resources

USDA: Find Erythronium grandiflorum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Erythronium grandiflorum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Erythronium grandiflorum


Record Modified: 2023-02-09
Research By: TWC Staff

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