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.
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.
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.
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.