[Fawn Lilies: The Genus Erythronium in the Columbia River Gorge of Oregon and Washington]

Glacier Lily, Pale Fawn-lily, Yellow Avalanche-lily, Yellow Fawnlily, Yellow Fawn-lily

Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. grandiflorum

Synonyms: Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. chrysandrum, Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. grandiflorum, Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. nudipetalum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. chrysandrum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. nudipetalum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. pallidum, Erythronium nudipetalum, Erythronium parviflorum

Glacier Lily, Pale Fawn-lily, Yellow Avalanche-lily, Yellow Fawnlily, Yellow Fawn-lily: Erythronium grandiflorum var. grandiflorum (Synonyms: Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. chrysandrum, Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. grandiflorum, Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. nudipetalum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. chrysandrum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. nudipetalum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. pallidum, Erythronium nudipetalum, Erythronium parviflorum)

Glacier lilies still in bloom under conifers high on Hardy Ridge, Beacon Rock State Park............April 20, 2015.

Characteristics:

Glacier lily is a beautiful perennial wildflower which arises from a deep seated elongated corm. The single stem may rise to about 35 cm in height. The pair of leaves are basal, not mottled, and narrowly to broadly oblong-elliptic in shape. They are 10 to 20 cm long, narrowing gradually to a wide petiole.

The one to three flowers are showy, turned downwards in bloom with six tepals reflexed backwards and upwards. The flowers are cream to pale yellow or golden in color, often with a greenish tinge near the base on the outer surface. The tepals are separate, and are lanceolate in shape, being 25 to 45 mm long and 4 to 8 mm wide. The 6 stamens have flattened filaments which become broader downward. The anthers range from whitish or yellowish to deep purplish red. They measure from 5-10 mm long. The style is long and slender and deeply 3-cleft. It typically extends past the tips of the anthers.


Habitat:

Glacier lily may be found in moist springtime meadows, often interspersed among sagebrush or Ponderosa Pine or under Oregon white oak. This plant typically withers and disappears by mid to late spring.


Range:

Glacier lily is common from the crest of the Cascade Mts eastward to Montana and Colorado, northward into British Columbia. It is also found in the Olympic Mts.

In the Columbia River Gorge it may be found between the elevations of 100'-4200' from Silver Star Mt. east to near The Dalles, OR.


Use:

I personally think this would make a beautiful meadow plant for naturalized yards, especially if established in dense drifts. It evidently does not do well in the moister climate west of the Cascades but should grow well in open, grassy woodlands to the east of the Cascade crest. It generally should not be dug up from its habitats in the wild as it sends its bulbs very deeply into the soil. Most of us would end up digging up only the leaves and their stems which would then soon die.


Glacier Lily, Pale Fawn-lily, Yellow Avalanche-lily, Yellow Fawnlily, Yellow Fawn-lily: Erythronium grandiflorum var. grandiflorum (Synonyms: Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. chrysandrum, Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. grandiflorum, Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. nudipetalum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. chrysandrum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. nudipetalum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. pallidum, Erythronium nudipetalum, Erythronium parviflorum)

A multi-flowered glacier lily as seen at Catherine Creek in the Columbia River Gorge..........April 9, 2009. Glacier liliy bloom tends to peak by the third and fourth weeks of March in the Gorge, so seeing one at low elevation in bloom by the second week in April is a treat!

Glacier Lily, Pale Fawn-lily, Yellow Avalanche-lily, Yellow Fawnlily, Yellow Fawn-lily: Erythronium grandiflorum var. grandiflorum (Synonyms: Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. chrysandrum, Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. grandiflorum, Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. nudipetalum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. chrysandrum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. nudipetalum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. pallidum, Erythronium nudipetalum, Erythronium parviflorum) - Glacier Lily, Pale Fawn-lily, Yellow Avalanche-lily, Yellow Fawnlily, Yellow Fawn-lily: Erythronium grandiflorum var. grandiflorum (Synonyms: Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. chrysandrum, Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. grandiflorum, Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. nudipetalum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. chrysandrum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. nudipetalum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. pallidum, Erythronium nudipetalum, Erythronium parviflorum)

Additional photos of glacier lilies as seen in bloom under Oregon white oaks along the old four wheel drive road along the south side of Dillacort Creek, Klickitat River drainage.............April 3, 2011.

Glacier Lily, Pale Fawn-lily, Yellow Avalanche-lily, Yellow Fawnlily, Yellow Fawn-lily: Erythronium grandiflorum var. grandiflorum (Synonyms: Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. chrysandrum, Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. grandiflorum, Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. nudipetalum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. chrysandrum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. nudipetalum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. pallidum, Erythronium nudipetalum, Erythronium parviflorum) - Glacier Lily, Pale Fawn-lily, Yellow Avalanche-lily, Yellow Fawnlily, Yellow Fawn-lily: Erythronium grandiflorum var. grandiflorum (Synonyms: Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. chrysandrum, Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. grandiflorum, Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. nudipetalum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. chrysandrum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. nudipetalum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. pallidum, Erythronium nudipetalum, Erythronium parviflorum)

Glacier lilies in bloom along a user trail along the spine of Hardy Ridge north of the Hardy Ridge Trail, Beacon Rock State Park..........April 8, 2016.

Glacier Lily, Pale Fawn-lily, Yellow Avalanche-lily, Yellow Fawnlily, Yellow Fawn-lily: Erythronium grandiflorum var. grandiflorum (Synonyms: Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. chrysandrum, Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. grandiflorum, Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. nudipetalum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. chrysandrum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. nudipetalum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. pallidum, Erythronium nudipetalum, Erythronium parviflorum)

Glacier lily blooming in oak woods along the Old Gorge Scenic Highway in the Rowena curves about one-half mile west of Rowena, Oregon..........March 3, 2015.

Glacier Lily, Pale Fawn-lily, Yellow Avalanche-lily, Yellow Fawnlily, Yellow Fawn-lily: Erythronium grandiflorum var. grandiflorum (Synonyms: Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. chrysandrum, Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. grandiflorum, Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. nudipetalum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. chrysandrum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. nudipetalum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. pallidum, Erythronium nudipetalum, Erythronium parviflorum) - Glacier Lily, Pale Fawn-lily, Yellow Avalanche-lily, Yellow Fawnlily, Yellow Fawn-lily: Erythronium grandiflorum var. grandiflorum (Synonyms: Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. chrysandrum, Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. grandiflorum, Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. nudipetalum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. chrysandrum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. nudipetalum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. pallidum, Erythronium nudipetalum, Erythronium parviflorum)

Glacier lilies stil in bloom under Oregon white oaks atop the east end of Sevenmile Hill, Columbia River Gorge...........April 12, 2015.

Glacier Lily, Pale Fawn-lily, Yellow Avalanche-lily, Yellow Fawnlily, Yellow Fawn-lily: Erythronium grandiflorum var. grandiflorum (Synonyms: Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. chrysandrum, Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. grandiflorum, Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. nudipetalum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. chrysandrum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. nudipetalum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. pallidum, Erythronium nudipetalum, Erythronium parviflorum) - Glacier Lily, Pale Fawn-lily, Yellow Avalanche-lily, Yellow Fawnlily, Yellow Fawn-lily: Erythronium grandiflorum var. grandiflorum (Synonyms: Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. chrysandrum, Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. grandiflorum, Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. nudipetalum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. chrysandrum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. nudipetalum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. pallidum, Erythronium nudipetalum, Erythronium parviflorum)

The photo at left shows a glacier lily in bud along the Memaloose Trail.........March 2, 2016. The photo at right shows glacier lilies in bloom along the Eagle Creek Trail near Upper Punchbowl Falls, Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area.............April 13, 2012.

Glacier Lily, Pale Fawn-lily, Yellow Avalanche-lily, Yellow Fawnlily, Yellow Fawn-lily: Erythronium grandiflorum var. grandiflorum (Synonyms: Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. chrysandrum, Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. grandiflorum, Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. nudipetalum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. chrysandrum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. nudipetalum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. pallidum, Erythronium nudipetalum, Erythronium parviflorum) - Glacier Lily, Pale Fawn-lily, Yellow Avalanche-lily, Yellow Fawnlily, Yellow Fawn-lily: Erythronium grandiflorum var. grandiflorum (Synonyms: Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. chrysandrum, Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. grandiflorum, Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. nudipetalum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. chrysandrum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. nudipetalum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. pallidum, Erythronium nudipetalum, Erythronium parviflorum)

Several glacier lilies blooming on Memaloose State Park lands east of the rest areas off Interstate 84............March 30, 2013.

A mass of blooming Glacier Lily, Pale Fawn-lily, Yellow Avalanche-lily, Yellow Fawnlily, Yellow Fawn-lily: Erythronium grandiflorum var. grandiflorum (Synonyms: Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. chrysandrum, Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. grandiflorum, Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. nudipetalum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. chrysandrum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. nudipetalum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. pallidum, Erythronium nudipetalum, Erythronium parviflorum)

Glacier Lily, Pale Fawn-lily, Yellow Avalanche-lily, Yellow Fawnlily, Yellow Fawn-lily: Erythronium grandiflorum var. grandiflorum (Synonyms: Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. chrysandrum, Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. grandiflorum, Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. nudipetalum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. chrysandrum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. nudipetalum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. pallidum, Erythronium nudipetalum, Erythronium parviflorum)

Examples of glacier lilies blooming under the oak forest in the Klickitat Wildlife Area about one-quarter mile west of the Glenwood-Goldendale Highway.........April 6, 2013.

Glacier Lily, Pale Fawn-lily, Yellow Avalanche-lily, Yellow Fawnlily, Yellow Fawn-lily: Erythronium grandiflorum var. grandiflorum (Synonyms: Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. chrysandrum, Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. grandiflorum, Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. nudipetalum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. chrysandrum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. nudipetalum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. pallidum, Erythronium nudipetalum, Erythronium parviflorum) - Glacier Lily, Pale Fawn-lily, Yellow Avalanche-lily, Yellow Fawnlily, Yellow Fawn-lily: Erythronium grandiflorum var. grandiflorum (Synonyms: Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. chrysandrum, Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. grandiflorum, Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. nudipetalum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. chrysandrum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. nudipetalum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. pallidum, Erythronium nudipetalum, Erythronium parviflorum)

Gacier lilies as seen along the Eagle Creek Trail upstream of Upper Punchbowl Falls, Columbia River Gorge.........April 11, 2013.

Glacier Lily, Pale Fawn-lily, Yellow Avalanche-lily, Yellow Fawnlily, Yellow Fawn-lily: Erythronium grandiflorum var. grandiflorum (Synonyms: Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. chrysandrum, Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. grandiflorum, Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. nudipetalum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. chrysandrum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. nudipetalum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. pallidum, Erythronium nudipetalum, Erythronium parviflorum) - Glacier Lily, Pale Fawn-lily, Yellow Avalanche-lily, Yellow Fawnlily, Yellow Fawn-lily: Erythronium grandiflorum var. grandiflorum (Synonyms: Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. chrysandrum, Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. grandiflorum, Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. nudipetalum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. chrysandrum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. nudipetalum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. pallidum, Erythronium nudipetalum, Erythronium parviflorum)

Glacier lilies blooming along the eastern portion of the loop of the Memaloose Trail in oak forest about one-quarter mile northwest of the junction of Dell Road and Highway 30 (north of the old landing strip).........March 16, 2016.

Glacier Lily, Pale Fawn-lily, Yellow Avalanche-lily, Yellow Fawnlily, Yellow Fawn-lily: Erythronium grandiflorum var. grandiflorum (Synonyms: Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. chrysandrum, Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. grandiflorum, Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. nudipetalum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. chrysandrum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. nudipetalum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. pallidum, Erythronium nudipetalum, Erythronium parviflorum) - Glacier Lily, Pale Fawn-lily, Yellow Avalanche-lily, Yellow Fawnlily, Yellow Fawn-lily: Erythronium grandiflorum var. grandiflorum (Synonyms: Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. chrysandrum, Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. grandiflorum, Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. nudipetalum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. chrysandrum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. nudipetalum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. pallidum, Erythronium nudipetalum, Erythronium parviflorum)

A glacier lily beginning to bloom at left in oak forest along the Memaloose Trail east of Marsh Cutoff Road..........March 23, 2014. The photo at right shows glacier lilies blooming at Catherine Creek........March 23, 2017.

Glacier Lily, Pale Fawn-lily, Yellow Avalanche-lily, Yellow Fawnlily, Yellow Fawn-lily: Erythronium grandiflorum var. grandiflorum (Synonyms: Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. chrysandrum, Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. grandiflorum, Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. nudipetalum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. chrysandrum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. nudipetalum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. pallidum, Erythronium nudipetalum, Erythronium parviflorum)

A glacier lily seen along the Memaloose Trail east of Mosier, Oregon.........March 27, 2015.

Glacier Lily, Pale Fawn-lily, Yellow Avalanche-lily, Yellow Fawnlily, Yellow Fawn-lily: Erythronium grandiflorum var. grandiflorum (Synonyms: Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. chrysandrum, Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. grandiflorum, Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. nudipetalum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. chrysandrum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. nudipetalum, Erythronium grandiflorum var. pallidum, Erythronium nudipetalum, Erythronium parviflorum)

A glacier lily still blooming under Oregon white oaks in Rowena Dell, Columbia River Gorge..........April 5, 2014.

Paul Slichter